Rep. Torres on Port of LA Terminal Closure After Cyber Attack
WASHINGTON, DC – Today Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) released the following statement on the closure of the largest terminal at the Port of Los Angeles after a cyber-attack hit various companies in Europe and across the globe, including Danish shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk:
“The ongoing closure of the Port of LA’s largest terminal because of a cyber-attack shows the severe vulnerabilities in our nation’s security and the massive impact cyber threats pose to our local and national economy. More than $1.3 trillion in cargo moves annually through our commercial ports with many of the goods that enter through the Ports of LA and Long Beach coming to my district before being shipped to the rest of the country. By attacking the infrastructure on which our economy depends, our enemies have the potential to cause massive economic damage and hurt the livelihoods of our citizens, all from the other side of the planet and without firing a single weapon.
“This is exactly why last Congress I introduced the Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act which passed the House of Representatives unanimously. Hearings before Congress revealed how little coordination currently occurs between port landlords and tenants in addressing cyber threats as well as how little consideration has been given by federal agencies to the impact that a cyber-attack could pose to our maritime infrastructure. While part of my legislation became law last Congress, the Senate failed to take it up in its entirety, leaving our ports vulnerable. My bill is needed now more than ever to ensure the necessary planning and coordination is in place to protect the ports that form the very backbone of the American economy.
“I will be reintroducing the Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act, because it is clear that more needs to be done to protect our nation’s ports. This most recent attack should serve as a call to action to address the clear vulnerabilities in our maritime security before those who wish to do us harm are able to engineer a truly debilitating attack.”
The Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act passed the House of Representatives on December 16, 2015, but did not advance in the Senate. Subsequent legislation signed into law authorizing funding for our nation’s intelligence agencies did include a provision requiring a one-time report on cyber-threats to our nation’s ports, though it did not include the coordination provisions in Torres’s bill.