House passes bill to boost cybersecurity at US ports

House passes bill to boost cybersecurity at US ports
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House lawmakers on Tuesday passed legislation aimed at guarding U.S. ports from cyberattacks. 

The bill, introduced by Rep. Norma TorresNorma Judith TorresRep. Torres asks for stronger provisions in police reform bill House Rules Committee approves remote voting during pandemic House Democrats push for virtual naturalization ceremonies in next coronavirus relief package MORE (D-Calif.) in June after a malware attack stalled some operations at the Port of Los Angeles, passed the House in a voice vote.

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The legislation instructs the Department of Homeland Security to take steps to boost cyber information sharing and coordination at U.S. ports. For instance, it mandates that the department’s information sharing hub for critical infrastructure cyber threats include at least one maritime community representative. 

Torres reintroduced the Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act following this summer's “notPetya” malware outbreak, which crippled operations at the largest terminal of the Port of Los Angeles. Global shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk was among the companies hardest hit by the malware.

"The most recent cyberattack revealed serious vulnerabilities in our nation's maritime security, so I was pleased the Homeland Security Committee voted to approve my bill and to address these weaknesses before it’s too late,” Torres said when the bill advanced out of the House Homeland Security Committee last month. 

“With more than $1.3 trillion in cargo moving annually through our nation’s 360 commercial ports and the increased use of cyber technology to manage port operations ranging from communication and navigation to engineering, safety, and cargo, it is critical to protect our nation’s maritime cyber infrastructure," she said. 

A version of the legislation cleared the House last Congress but never received a vote in the Senate.