Pelosi, Boehner want more safeguards after attacks on lawmakers' websites

January 28, 2010
The Honorable Daniel P. Beard
Chief Administrative Officer
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Beard:
We request that you initiate an immediate and comprehensive assessment of how hackers were able to deface the websites of nearly fifty House Members and Committees last night.
In the past, we jointly requested that your office review and tighten cybersecurity protections designed to ensure that congressional offices and committees are safeguarded from unauthorized intrusions.  We appreciate the efforts you and your cybersecurity team have taken to tighten firewalls, as well as more recent efforts to ensure that official mobile communications devices are secure from hacking and other intrusions.
However, last night’s actions indicate that further review of security procedures are needed.  From initial reports, these intrusions appear to be related to one website vendor which has had previous security failures.  While many Members have expressed satisfaction with the vendor in question, this is the second time in a year websites hosted and supported by this vendor have been compromised.  We therefore request that your office work with the Committee on House Administration to review the security standards for House vendors and to assess whether this vendor, and others, have adhered to those standards.  We also request that you take immediate action to protect against breaches of the House firewalls and to ensure website security of all House offices.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
NANCY PELOSI                                                                  JOHN BOEHNER
Speaker                                                                                   Republican Leader
Cc: The Honorable Robert A. Brady
Chairman, Committee on House Administration

The Honorable Dan Lungren
Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration

Cross-posted from Blog Briefing Room.