Following a cyberattack at a local healthcare facility, Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse introduced legislation to deal with such cybercrime.
According to NBC News, a ransomware attack compromised the personal healthcare information of 14,000 New Englanders. Whitehouse claimed, in an interview with NBC, that the hack happened “just last month.” However, HealthITSecurity wrote that the actual breach occurred between September 23, 2014 to August 28, 2015.
Whitehouse’s legislation, called the Botnet Prevention Act, was introduced to end this type of cybercrime in America.
During the interview, Whitehouse described botnets as an army of malicious computers, working towards the same goal. “You can do things like have every single one of those computers go hit a website, or go overload traffic to a hospital,” Whitehouse said.
Senator Lindsey Graham, the initial sponsor of the bill, explained the Botnet Prevention Act (BPA) would benefit the Justice Department. The DoJ would have expanded civil injunction authority to tear down these malicious networks, Graham explained at a Senate hearing. New criminal charges would be implemented for those who sell or rent out botnets. Similarly, the penalties for cybercrimes against critical infrastructure would be raised.
The new bill proposes changes that go far beyond the scope of