Langevin Statement on the Indictment of Iranian Hackers

Mar 24, 2016 Issues: Cybersecurity

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and a senior member of both the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the Justice Department’s indictment of seven Iranian hackers:

“Today’s indictment represents a continued commitment by the United States to hold cybercriminals to account. I commend the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and their private partners for their diligence in working to uncover the individuals responsible for these attacks on our critical infrastructure. Attribution in cyberspace can be difficult, particularly when the malicious actors are sitting at keyboards half a world away and are known to have worked with a foreign government. It speaks to the great tenacity and dedication of our public servants that they succeeded in presenting a clear case to the grand jury despite these obstacles. We have made it clear that hiding behind the anonymity of a computer is no longer possible.

“In addition to reemphasizing to hackers that their actions have grave consequences, the indictment also sends a strong message to the international community. Whether governments act through official instruments of state power, as in the People’s Liberation Army case, or through proxies, the individuals responsible will be subject to prosecution. I encourage the President to examine whether to invoke his authority to block the property of the hackers under Executive Order 13694, which would further signify the government’s determination to protect US assets.

“Today’s announcement also serves to remind us of the vulnerabilities we face in cyberspace. The distributed denial of service attacks in 2012 engendered a feeling of powerlessness as vital financial systems were subject to enormous attacks with clockwork regularity. The infiltration of the Bowman Dam is deeply troubling – one need only look at the recent attack on the Ukrainian power grid to understand the damage that can be caused when cyber-physical systems are compromised. Attacks that, years ago, could have been possible only through the use of kinetic weapons can now be realized with a few keystrokes, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and with the private sector to shore up our critical infrastructure, both through defensive and deterrent measures.”