Cyberattacks prompt Maryland lawmakers to craft security bills – CBS Baltimore


BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Speaker of the Maryland House has launched a campaign for a package of cybersecurity bills that she says are essential.

“Vulnerabilities in our computer systems will continue to cost our taxpayers dearly, and that cost is high,” said Baltimore County Democrat Speaker Adrienne Jones.

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Recent cyberattacks have cost millions, around $8 million after the Baltimore County schools hack in 2020.

The City of Baltimore paid out $6 million after hackers took over city systems that controlled everything from water bills to real estate fees in 2019.

Last December, hackers demanded a ransom from the Maryland Department of Health. The attack stopped reporting crucial COVID data as the Omicron variant was spreading rapidly.

And in February, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s Twitter account was hacked.

“As we rely more on technology, that means more cyberattacks, especially those targeting state and local governments,” Jones said.

Bills running through the Maryland General Assembly would improve cybersecurity training, statewide coordination, regular threat assessments, and hire an independent contractor to scan systems for security risks. security.

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You can read more about them here:

https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2022RS/bills/hb/hb1346F.pdf

https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2022RS/bills/hb/hb1202F.pdf

“We are past day zero. We have already been attacked at the state level, at the local level,” said Delegate Pat Young, who is sponsoring the legislation, of the emergency.

Montgomery County’s chief information officer revealed that their systems are attacked 15 million times a day.

Cybersecurity push comes amid warnings Russia may target companies and government agencies in the United States in retaliation for sanctions for its war with Ukraine.

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“As sanctions continue to devastate the Russian economy, it could become an economic necessity to bring money back to Russia,” said CBS News cybersecurity expert Chris Krebs.

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