After the United States Announced Trade and Energy Penalties on Russia and Approved $14 Billion in Aid for Ukraine, Bipartisan Group of 22 Senators Request Information on Efforts to Protect Critical Infrastructure and Businesses from Retaliatory Russian Cyberattacks
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and a bipartisan group of senators, sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security requesting information on efforts to protect the United States from Russian cyber and disinformation threats. The letter references past Russian cyber operations – such as the SolarWinds attack – as evidence of their history of engaging in malicious cyber activities that target the United States.
“The Russian government often engages in malicious cyber activities, including espionage, intellectual property theft, disinformation, propaganda, and cyberattacks, that target the United States. In response, the United States government has imposed sanctions on Russian security personnel and agents for various cyberattacks, including the SolarWinds cyber espionage campaign, and for acts of disinformation and interference, including Russian government-directed attempts to influence U.S. elections,” wrote the senators.
“Given Russia’s history of disruptive cyber and disinformation activities, we are concerned that the United States may be targeted in retaliation for actions taken to impose costs on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine,” the senators’ letter continued. “As we stand with the Ukrainian people, impose crushing sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s regime, and push for additional security assistance to help Ukraine defend itself, we also must work to secure the homeland from retaliatory cyber activities.”
In addition to Senators Brown, Rosen and Rounds, the bipartisan letter was signed by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Capito (R-WV), Bob Casey (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Joseph Manchin (D-WV), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
On Friday, Brown and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) released a statement following the news that President Biden has announced support for removal of Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia. Brown and Cassidy introduced the bipartisan and bicameral No Most Favored Nation Trading with Russia Act to revoke Russia’s most-favored-nation status, which currently shields Russia from being subject to higher U.S. tariffs.
Brown and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) also sent a letter to the International Trade Commission urging them to assertively enforce U.S. trade remedy law as it relates to Russia. Given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the senators want to ensure that the United States is fully enforcing U.S. law against Russia.
The full text of the letter can be found here.