McCaul: Sony Move Empowers Cyber Hackers

Says country needs to figure out what defines an act of cyber warfare
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According to Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) , chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Sony's decision to pull The Interview has empowered hackers and he expects to see more of this type of hack attack. He says the country needs to better define what constitutes an act of cyber warfare and what the response should be.

McCaul says the FBI and Department of Homeland Security have determined that the 9/11-style threat leveled by the hackers was not credible.

"Pulling the movie sort of caves in to what I consider to be a terrorist threat," said McCaul. The Administration is reportedly considering a proportional response, something McCaul said he understood was being debated.

McCaul pointed out that a cybersecurity bill was passed last week and signed by the President Thursday that would allow malicious codes and threat information to be shared between the private sector and the government. "I think that is going a long ways to protecting this nation from a future terrorist attack. But any time you give into them, you empower them."

The bill, The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, which was supported by a number of industry groups including the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, CTIA, and USTelecom, 1) creates an industry-driven process for creating voluntary cybersecurity critical infrastructure standards, under the watchful eye of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), that will be "non-regulatory, non-prescriptive and technology neutral"; 2) coordinates and strengthens cybersecurity R&D; 3) boosts cybersecurity education and awareness; and 4) "advances" technical standards.

McCaul said he understood that Sony was free to make its decision, but said it gave the North Koreans "exactly what they wanted."

McCaul said that the country will need to more clearly define what constitutes an act of cyber warfare and what the appropriate response should be.

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