On Sunday, Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, urged federal officials and lawmakers to intensify their efforts to safeguard consumers from cybersecurity breaches.
Schumer, a New York Democrat said that he was calling for the Federal Trade Commission to first ensure that companies protect consumer data and that the Department of Justice investigates and pursues hackers who aim to harm Americans.
Schumer mentioned a few recent data breaches at public and private organizations, including an Uber hack that was disclosed by the company in September. Uber claimed that hackers had accessed company Slack messages and invoice-related data shortly after the disclosure.
According to Schumer’s office, American Airlines confirmed that there was a data breach last month. His office released a statement saying that an unauthorized actor had gained access to the personal information of a few customers and employees via a phishing attack.
According to Suffolk County’s website, on September 8, cyberattacks took place. Officials believe that threat actors obtained personal information from one of the County agencies’ servers. Multiple cybersecurity firms were quickly hired by the County to examine employees and residents, as well as to restore online services.
Schumer stated that his office was in touch with Suffolk County officials. He also noted that the county had to close down all its computer systems to protect government data.
The senator stated that he knew that the county had been in communication with federal authorities as they are supposed to. He also said that federal law enforcement was involved at this point.
He stated that “We want to find out who took (private information), what they did, and what consumers can do to protect themselves. The responsibility lies with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. We’re asking them to make a redoubled effort to answer all of these.”
Schumer stated that he would like to see companies reporting data breaches more stringently to inform as many consumers as possible.
He stated that the law required a company to inform federal authorities if it was hacked or a government agency to do so.