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Pallone & Schatz Call for an Independent Investigation into Reported FCC Cyberattack

Aug 17, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an independent review of the reported attack on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Electronic Comment Filing System and the general state of cybersecurity at the FCC.

“While the FCC and the FBI have responded to Congressional inquiries into these DDos attacks, they have not released any records or documentation that would allow for confirmation that an attack occurred, that it was effectively dealt with, and that the FCC has begun to institute measures to thwart future attacks and ensure the security of its systems,” the lawmakers wrote. “As a result, questions remain about the attack itself and more generally about the state of cybersecurity at the FCC – questions that warrant an independent review.”

Following increased media coverage of the FCC’s net neutrality proceeding, the Commission reported that it was the victim of distributed denial-of-service-attacks (DDos), where bad actors flood a website with an overwhelming amount of online traffic in an effort to crash the site. These attacks may have prevented the public from accessing and commenting on current proceedings before the FCC. The net neutrality proceeding has also been inundated with fake comments, which undermines this and future rule-making processes. 

The full letter can be found