Gillibrand Says Cyber Criminals Are Threat to National Security

Oswego, NY – Criminals using computers cause as much as $300 billion in business losses each year. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand thinks they are also a threat to our nation's security.

"They can create havoc across many, many networks," said Gillibrand, "government networks, company networks or stock exchanges, can be easily disrupted, destroyed, corrupted or information can be stolen. Our infrastructure our electric grids can easily be hacked into and taken down."

She is sponsoring a bill in the Senate to help countries avoid becoming havens for cybercriminals, while punishing those countries which fail to act.

James Lewis, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, supports the bill. He said the risk from computer-based terrorism is real.

"We have never objected as a nation to all the pillaging and espionage and crime that's gone on. And putting in some penalties, putting in a plan to work with other governments to improve their performance, is a vital improvement," said Lewis.

The bill would also require an annual report to Congress on the progress countries are making to prevent computer-based attacks.