Dem warns Syria could retaliate with cyber attack

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“This committee has made several attempts to safeguard the cyber environment, yet our efforts have been rejected by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Mr. Chairman, I urge you to once again attempt to move your leadership to assure that a meaningful cyber security bill can come to the House floor.

“In the face of the risk of retaliation from the [Syrian Electronic Army], we must resolve our known cyber security vulnerabilities.”

The Syrian Electronic Army, or SEA, is a group of international hackers allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that has claimed responsibility over the years for successful attacks on nearly a dozen major news organizations based in the U.S., including the Associated Press, the Washington Post and The New York Times.

Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also warned of an inevitable large-scale cyber attack in her farewell remarks. She advised her successor, who has not been chosen yet, to move quickly to shore up the country’s cyber vulnerabilities.