Congressional lawmakers want the Department of Homeland Security to make a special cyber resolution in the new year – to prevent future disruption from hackers and to increase cooperation between states and the federal government on cyber threats.
Bipartisan members of the U.S. Senate wrote a letter to recently confirmed DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, urging her to make election cybersecurity a priority. The DHS let 21 states know in September 2017 that Russian hackers attempted to infiltrate their voting systems.
“We write to express concern about the security of U.S. election systems and to urge you to prioritize election cybersecurity as you begin your tenure as Secretary. Election security is national security, and our election systems have become a target for foreign adversaries,” the senators wrote. “Given your significant experience across administrations, within the Department, and on issues of cybersecurity, we are hopeful that under your leadership DHS will make securing our election infrastructure a top priority.”
The senators continued, “We must do everything in our power to protect our democracy from future attacks. Time is of the essence, the next federal election is less than a year away.”
Members of Congress from 18 of 21 of the affected states also wrote to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Dec. 19, asking him to direct DHS and the FBI to provide more information about election hacking.