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Legislation would step up efforts to stop cyber attacks against state and local government computer systems

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Senator Gary Peters said the security chief for Michigan estimates there are tens of millions of attempts to hack Michigan computer systems every day.

Democratic Michigan Senator Gary Peters and Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman co-authored legislation to better fight cyber attacks on state and local government systems.

Peters is the Chairman and Portman is the Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Their legislation, State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act —passed by both chambers— would do more to coordinate efforts among the Department of Homeland Security and state and local governments.

“Michigan's chief security officer has estimated that criminal hackers are trying to get into our state networks literally tens of millions of times every day. Our networks are constantly being attacked by hackers, and it's important for us to have the strongest tools available,” Senator Peters said.

He added that besides criminal elements, foreign governments are also attempting to hack into systems and that might escalate.

“There's also a concern that that threat will increase as a result of what's happening in Ukraine and the fact that the Russians are very active in cyber attacks as well as is allowing criminal organizations within their country to engage on constant cyber attacks against U.S. interests.”

Peters is urging President Joe Biden to sign the legislation into law quickly.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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