Senator Rounds says country must defend against foreign cyber attacks

Local News

WASHINGTON D.C. (KELO) — South Dakota U-S Senator Mike Rounds says the cyber attack on the Continental fuel pipeline isn’t surprising. According to Rounds, hackers are always trying to get into infrastructure systems, especially those run by private companies that may be vulnerable.

The Colonial Pipeline restarted operation on Wednesday. Senator Rounds believes the group that attacked the pipeline and caused the gas shortage is located in Russia or an eastern European country.

Rounds knows a thing or two about hackers because is a member of the Armed Services Committee and the ranking member of the cybersecurity subcommittee. He believes the people responsible for the pipeline shutdown are most likely, simply after money.

“The way that they did it was to get in and manipulate the system, shut it down, and then demand a ransom in order to release it back into operation again,” said Rounds.

KELOLAND News spoke with Rounds over the internet from his office in Washington, D.C. Cyberspace is the new frontier, and it’s where this country’s adversaries are focusing on the most.

The Department of Homeland Security is in charge of fending off the attacks. Rounds would like to see the Department of Defense become more involved in countering these attacks, especially when they are linked to foreign countries, like Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.

“Their resources are there and their technical capabilities are continuing to improve. We have to stay on top of that which means our resources have to go cyber protection and offensive cyber capabilities to take out the attackers before they are successful at getting into our systems,” said Rounds.

Rounds says it used to be, we thought of war being fought on land sea, and air. Today, we have to think about war in the additional realms of space and cyberspace.

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