Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a proposal “to strengthen the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure and target foreign governments that knowingly provide safe haven for cybercriminals.”
Rubio brought out the “Sanction and Stop Ransomware Act” on Thursday with U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as a co-sponsor.
“Ransomware attacks threaten the health and safety of countless Americans,” Rubio said. “Our bipartisan bill provides the tools necessary to help safeguard critical infrastructure while discouraging and disrupting these criminal organizations, including the regimes who harbor them. It is time for the United States to take strong, decisive action to protect American businesses, infrastructure, and government institutions.”
“Cybercriminals don’t discriminate – they target small companies, large corporations and government agencies using ransomware,” Feinstein said. “Congress must do more to support all organizations and companies struggling to deal with these escalating attacks. Our bill will help the private and public sectors avoid ransomware attacks, reduce incentives to pay ransoms and hold foreign governments accountable if they provide a safe haven for ransomware perpetrators.”
The bill would have the federal government set cybersecurity standards for infrastructure; craft cryptocurrency exchange regulations; have the U.S. State Department investigate state sponsors of ransomware and give the White House the power to sanction those countries; and ensure quick reporting when ransomware is discovered.
Rubio’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org