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Congressional Record2017/7/13Senate | House | Extensions

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E975]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO



                               speech of

                           HON. GREGG HARPER

                             of mississippi

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, July 12, 2017

       The House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of 
     the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2810) to 
     authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military 
     activities of the Department of Defense and for military 
     construction, to prescribe military personnel strengths for 
     such fiscal year, and for other purposes:

Mr. HARPER. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong support of the Harper/Brady Amendment, which is included in this en block package of amendments. Our amendment while simple is critical to the security of the House of Representatives and its information technology systems. This amendment allows the Speaker, with the concurrence of the Minority Leader, to request assistance from the Executive Branch, within the confines of current law, in the event there is a successful cybersecurity attack on the House of Representatives.

Three scenarios readily come to mind in which Executive Branch assistance would be critical.

The first scenario addresses a situation in which the House of Representatives has a suspicion that a nation-state sponsored actor has successfully infiltrated the House network. The House of Representatives would need assistance from the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, or possibly even the Department of Defense's Cyber Command to help identify, eliminate and remove the nation-state sponsored actor from our network systems. The House of Representatives would also need additional assistance from the intelligence community to identify and validate the nation-state sponsored actor and their associated tactics, techniques, and procedures.

The second scenario involves assistance from the appropriate law enforcement agency in the event the House of Representatives and its network systems are victims of criminal activity conducted by a malicious actor or actors.

Finally, the House of Representatives would need assistance from the Executive Branch if a catastrophic event occurred and compromised a significant amount of the House of Representatives' enterprise system, and could not guarantee the integrity of the legislative process. The House of Representatives would seek assistance from the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community, or the Department of Defense's Cyber Command to identify the root cause of the compromise; protect existing House information systems; detect any collateral damage resulting from the incident; respond, resolve, and remove the incident from the House systems; and finally, restore the House of Representatives to an acceptable operational state.

The attempts to attack the House of Representatives are real. Every month, the House successfully defends against the three to four million cyber attacks against our networks. Before the July 4th recess, the House of Representatives successfully fought off a “brute force attack” in which more than 44,000 attempts to breach the networks occurred in just one day.

We are not dealing with hypotheticals. It may be just a matter of time before one of the millions of attempts is successful. The House of Representatives must be prepared.

I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment. ____________________

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