During a news conference on June 8 at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Germany, President Barack Obama made it a point to focus on cyber security. The President claimed that the country needs to be as “nimble, aggressive, and well-resourced” as hackers who are breaking into some of the country’s most sensitive data systems, according to Reuters.
Recently, a number of anonymous U.S. officials pointed the finger at Chinese hackers for breaking into the computers of the Office of Personnel Management. As a result, approximately 4 million current and former federal employees’ records were compromised. The incident is being called one of the biggest cyber attacks on U.S. federal networks.
At the news conference, Obama went onto say that the government has known for a “long time” that there were significant vulnerabilities in the system, according to CNBC. Additionally, he noted that these types of vulnerabilities within the government and the private sector are only going to accelerate as time goes on. However, he would not comment on the Office of Personnel Management hacking.
Obama stated that the country has “very old systems,” and a lack of initiative to install newer systems has allowed hackers to launch an attack.
After discussing the primary issues, Obama went on to urge Congress to pass the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, according to Engadget. The legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Justice and the Director of National Intelligence to share classified and declassified cyber threats with the government. Additionally, the public would be notified of unclassified cyber security threats.
“What we are doing is going agency by agency, and figuring out what can we fix with better practices and better computer hygiene by personnel,” Obama said at the G7 Summit, “and where do we need new systems and new infrastructure in order to protect information not just of government employees or government activities, but also, most importantly, where there’s an interface between government and the American people.”