Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump names McMaster new national security adviser How does placing sanctions on Russia help America? THE MEMO: Trump's wild first month MORE (R-Ariz.) is blaming Sony Pictures’s cancellation of a comedy’s release on the Obama administration’s "failure" to address cyber weapons used by U.S. enemies.
“By effectively yielding to aggressive acts of cyber-terrorism by North Korea, that decision sets a troubling precedent that will only empower and embolden bad actors to use cyber as an offensive weapon even more aggressively in the future,” McCain said in a statement on Thursday.
“But, make no mistake. The need for Sony Pictures to make that decision ultimately arose from the Administration's continuing failure to satisfactorily address the use of cyber weapons by our nation's enemies,” he added.
On Wednesday, multiple media reports said U.S. officials had concluded that hackers in the hermit state carried out the massive attack, which could cost Sony more than $100 million.
A formal announcement by U.S. officials could be made Thursday.
McCain called the attack “only the latest in a long and troubling list of attempts by malign actors to use cyber to undermine our economic and national security interests.”
“From Iranian and Russian attacks on American banks to China's orchestrated campaign to steal military secrets from our defense contractors, the administration's failure to deter our adversaries has emboldened, and will continue to embolden, those seeking to harm the United States through cyberspace,” McCain said.
“This must change,” he added.
McCain, who is a lock to lead the Senate Armed Services Committee next year, said he would establish a new subcommittee to look into cybersecurity issues and hold the administration’s feet to the fire.
He also urged Congress to tackle the issue and “finally pass long-overdue comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.”