In Wake of Continued Ransomware Strikes, Swalwell Highlights Need for Congress to Raise Awareness

July 3, 2021
Press Release

 WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Rep. Eric Swalwell issued the following statement after a major ransomware attack by a Russia-connected gang hit hundreds of companies across the United States and thousands around the world: 
“Ransomware attacks are increasing in frequency and threatening to shut down entire sectors of the U.S. economy. These attacks threaten both the economy and national security. Yesterday’s attack targeted an American software company that serves thousands of businesses large and small, compromising not only data but also small businesses that rely on Independence Day weekend sales to help them get through the year. 

“According to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, the businesses that drive our economy conservatively are expected to face more than 65,000 ransomware attacks this year, at an average cost of $170,000 each. 
“Businesses are outmatched, and criminal organizations are holding them hostage. Ransomware is a threat to any person, business or organization that relies on computers, which is why we must ensure Americans understand the threat and how to protect themselves. Leading into the holiday weekend, I sent a letter to my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, urging them to join me in better educating communities and small businesses about how to protect themselves from these attacks. 
“It's time for government officials to recognize the national security threat posed by ransomware attacks against U.S. businesses and our constituents. There are a number of issues Congress must consider to protect our economy, critical infrastructure and national security. That includes determining how incidents should be reported, understanding the role cryptocurrency exchanges factor into attackers’ plans, and examining what security standards should be required for software sold to the U.S. government and its contractors.

"Members of Congress must use their full range of capabilities—including hosting listening sessions and round table discussions between small businesses, health care providers, and local governments and federal law enforcement—to help people and organizations guard themselves against ransomware attacks." 

As a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Swalwell is recognized as one of Congress’s leading experts on cyber defense and a strong advocate for a forward-thinking cyber strategy.