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Bill Nelson, Mike Rounds warn of Russia, China cyberthreats

in 2017/Top Headlines by

After a classified intelligence briefing for a newly-formed U.S. Senate panel on cyberterrorism, Florida’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds issued a strong warning Wednesday.

Rounds, the chairman from South Dakota, and Nelson, the Ranking Democrat, issued a joint release acknowledging a “very serious” cyberattack by Russia on American elections and warning that American infrastructure is vulnerable.

The classified briefing before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Cyberterrorism Subcommittee took place Wednesday afternoon. Rounds and Nelson issued the following statement:

“We have to accept the fact that right now, countries like Russia and China can inflict serious damage on our critical infrastructure through cyberspace, despite our best efforts to defend ourselves. In order to protect ourselves as we build up our capabilities, we have to deter these countries by making the consequences of an attack so severe that they wouldn’t even consider attacking us in the first place.

“We have already suffered some very serious cyberattacks such as Russia’s recent interference in our elections and China and North Korea’s hacking of U.S. corporations on a near daily basis. Developing methods and plans to threaten what these countries value the most — in order to deter future attacks — is one of our top priorities.”

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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