Stock market hackers drives cybersecurity bill

"Cyber-threats are not on the horizon, they are upon us," he said. "Businesses and investors must trust that their investments are secure. We cannot allow security breaches to undermine our trust in the U.S. economy. We must step forward and curb these attacks without delay.”

The bill would require the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense to cooperate in researching cybersecurity threats. Menendez also wants to improve the transfer of developed technologies to the private sector.

His bill also would reauthorize NSF research programs that explore how to safeguard computer networks and develop cybersecurity degree programs for colleges. It would also require the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish a public cybersecurity awareness campaign.

Menendez's bill comes one day after he sent a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, asking her to hunt down the hackers and figure out what needs to be done to prevent such infiltrations in the future.

Similar legislation was passed overwhelmingly in the House last year but was ignored by the Senate.