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Democratic E&C Leaders Call for Hearing on Recent Cyberattack

Oct 31, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Democratic leaders today sent a letter to full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) requesting a hearing on the recent cyberattack that caused prolonged outages on popular websites in the U.S., including Twitter and Netflix. 

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Committee member Jerry McNerney (D-CA) write that the recent cyberattack raises serious questions about the vulnerability of internet infrastructure, as well as the ability of the U.S. to prevent similar attacks in the future.

The expansion of technology and increasing connectivity of devices make it imperative that we understand what happened in this recent cyberattack and assess what can be learned from it,” the five Committee leaders write in their letter.  “This could have wide-sweeping effects not only on telecommunications and Internet regulation, but also on many other areas under the Committee’s jurisdiction.  We urge you to hold hearings as soon as possible.”

In the early morning of October 21, 2016, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack was directed at the server infrastructure of Dynamic Network Services, Inc. — known as Dyn — which offers domain name system (DNS) services to some of the most trafficked sites on the internet.  Attackers reportedly used malware to organize a network of Internet of Things devices to overwhelm Dyn’s servers with over one trillion bits of data every second, leaving many websites inaccessible to users across the country.  DDoS attacks are a serious concern for consumers and businesses alike, leading the Democratic leaders to write that the Committee is, “uniquely positioned” to investigate these increasingly common and disruptive cyberattacks.

A copy of the letter is available here.