Obama Invokes Sony, CENTCOM Hacks in Calling for Cybersecurity Action
The president told lawmakers Tuesday he intends to highlight his administration’s renewed cyber efforts in his State of the Union address. By Dustin Volz
President Obama on Tuesday told members of Congress he plans to underscore the need to bolster the nation's cybersecurity defenses during his annual State of the Union address later this month.
"I've got a State of the Union next week; one of the things we're going to be talking about is cybersecurity," Obama said at the top of his White House meeting with lawmakers. "With the Sony attack that took place, with the Twitter account that was hacked by Islamist jihadist sympathizers yesterday, it just goes to show much more work we need to do both public and private sector to strengthen our cybersecurity," he said, referencing the intrusion on U.S. Central Command's social-media accounts that took place Monday.
The president said he has already spoken with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about cybersecurity. "I think we agreed that this is an area where we can work hard together, get some legislation done, and make sure that we are much more effective in protecting the American people from these kinds of cyberattacks," Obama said.
Obama's sit-down with congressional leaders at the White House comes as his administration is unveiling a swath of new data-security proposals this week. Later Tuesday, Obama will unveil a legislative proposal that would make it easier for businesses and government to share information about possible cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities.
Obama is slated to deliver his address to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 20. The president has made it clear he intends to make cybersecurity a priority in 2015, after the debilitating breach of Sony Pictures late last year initially forced the movie studio to pull the release of The Interviewamid threats of violence from the hackers. U.S. authorities have blamed North Korea for the intrusion.