President Obama should have moved swiftly against North Korea following a cyberattack on Sony Pictures that has cost the company tens of millions of dollars and caused it to cancel the theatrical release of its controversial comedy, “The Interview,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said Sunday.
“Saying ‘aloha’ and getting on the plane to Hawaii is not the answer,” Rogers said on “Fox News Sunday,” referring to Obama’s annual holiday trip. “This was a nation-state attack on the United States.”
Sony has been battling hackers who infiltrated its computer networks, leaked troves of sensitive data and threatened Sept. 11-style attacks against any theater that screened “The Interview,” a movie about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The FBI accused North Korea of sponsoring the cyberattack and, in a Friday press conference, Obama vowed a proportional response.
Obama should have moved faster, Rogers said.
“Unfortunately, he’s laid out a little of the playbook,” Rogers said. “That press conference should have been here are the actions.”
The U.S. is reportedly considering a slate of banking and economic sanctions against the repressive East Asian nation.
Without discussing specifics, Rogers said the U.S. has the capability to cripple North Korea’s cyberattack capabilities, which have been rapidly improving over the last few years.
“I can tell you we have the capability to make this very difficult for them in the future,” he said.
Rogers, who is retiring from Congress in just a few days, made a final plug for his bill to facilitate cybersecurity information sharing between the private sector and National Security Agency (NSA). The measure passed the House but stalled in the Senate, held up by privacy concerns.
It’s necessary, Rogers argued, if the U.S. wants to protect itself from similar attacks in the future. Because of laws on the books, the NSA is limited in its ability to protect private critical infrastructure networks.
“This isn’t about reading your email; it’s about reading malicious source code,” Rogers said.