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Stephen Horn, R-CA

Subcommittee on Government Management,
 Information, and Technology

at a hearing on 

Computer Security:
A War without Borders

July 26, 2000


A quorum being present, the hearing of the House Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology will come to order.

From the "ILOVEYOU" virus to attempts to enter the space shuttle's communications system, cyber attacks are on the rise. Every day, new viruses and attempted intrusions bombard vital computer systems and networks within U.S. Government agencies and private industries.

Sometimes the attackers are simply seeking the thrill of breaking into a supposedly secure system. Other times, however, the motive is far more sinister -- vandalism, industrial espionage, intelligence collection, or creating a doorway for a future attack. As the "ILOVEYOU" virus clearly demonstrated, these attacks can originate from nearly anywhere in the world.

Many experts say this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of attacks, their sophistication, and their destructiveness. In the United States, and in many other countries, law enforcement agencies and private organizations collect and share information on these worldwide computer attacks. However, not all countries have the capability to detect them, warn others, or even prosecute the hackers once they have been identified.

In the United States, the FBI and the Departments of Commerce and Defense all have a role in tracking and investigating cyber attacks. Many other agencies and private organizations also track and share this critical information. Other countries also have law enforcement agencies and organizations set up to investigate and share cyber-attack information. But among the variety of players, who is coordinating an efficient, effective response to this international problem?

Today, we will examine the challenges of coordinating these cyber-attack investigations. Our witnesses represent cyber-crime investigation units in several countries, including the United States. They will discuss their experiences. There is a great need for a sharing of these experiences daily, weekly, and monthly. Alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should work together if we will be able to win these cyber wars.

We welcome each of our witnesses today, and look forward to their testimony.

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