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Blackburn: Sony Hack Demonstrates Cybersecurity ‘Nightmare’

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), vice chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, says the Sony hack shows why Congress needs to crack down on cyber attacks. She also took aim at Sony for pulling the plug on The Interview, the buddy comedy about assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jon-Un, which is believed to have spurred the hack and threats against theatergoers.

“Sony should have stood its ground and not surrendered to online terrorists," she said in a statement, an apparent reference to Sony's decision to stop the Christmas Day release of the film. "Their failure to prepare for this threat has effectively allowed them to be held hostage by North Korea."

She said she has been warning about just such an attack, which is why she introduced the SECURE IT bill that did not make it into law. Blackburn introduced the bill back in April 2013, but even that was the reintroduction of a bill from the previous Congress. The bill would "allow the government and the private sector to address cyber threat information in a more transparent fashion; reform how our government manages its own information systems; create new deterrents for cyber criminals; prioritize research and development for cybersecurity initiatives; and streamline consumers' ability to be notified when they are at risk of identity theft or financial harm."

"This is the type of nightmare data breach scenario many people, including myself, have warned about," she said Thursday (Dec. 18). "We need better data security and privacy provisions. ISPs should have the ability to block malicious, rogue networks. The private sector and government should also be working together to share information about threats."

A bill did pass in this Congress that at least starts the process of the government and private industry hammering out cybersecurity best practices.

“There is one absolute truth about data—we still cannot protect it," said Blackburn. "Last year, when I introduced my SECURE IT legislation, I specifically stated that we needed enhanced measures to protect ourselves from cyber attacks by rogue regimes such as North Korea. That day has arrived.”