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United States: Joe Biden urgently signs decree on cybersecurity

The President of the United States this week ordered the creation of a committee dedicated to cyber attacks, as well as the establishment of new software security standards for government agencies.

Faced with cybercrime, Uncle Sam does not lead off. This week the United States faced a massive computer attack carried out by the Darkside group. Thanks to ransomware, the hackers managed to shut down the oil operator Colonial Pipeline, which usually carries nearly half of the country’s fuel. An attack that blew a wind of panic among the Americans. Across the country, gas stations were stormed, to the point of causing a national shortage to begin.

If the panic did not last long, the problem having been quickly resolved, this new incident clearly demonstrates Uncle Sam’s fragility in the face of cyber attacks. It is in this context, to say the least, that the President of the United States Joe Biden signed on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, a decree intended to strengthen the country’s security against computer attacks.

A committee and new software standards

To strengthen cybersecurity in the United States, Joe Biden announced the creation of a cyber incident review committee. Concretely, the organization will investigate the major hacks that have occurred in the country, in order to better understand the ins and outs of the case. Modeled on the National Transportation Safety Board, responsible for investigating air, rail or maritime accidents, this new advice could help identify possible officials in the event of new attacks. As a reminder, this is not the first time that the US administration has faced a cyber attack. Last December, a group of hackers targeted the government through the massive hacking of SolarWinds. Without making public all the details of the incident, Donald Trump had at the time claimed to have evidence of Russian involvement. Only a few months ago, it was China which was this time suspected of having sponsored a cyberattack targeting giant Microsoft.

In addition to the creation of a dedicated committee, Joe Biden also announced the creation of new software standards aimed at more effectively securing US government agencies and avoid new hacks. These new standards will include in particular the use of multi-factor authentication, but also the strengthening of the security of exchanges between the government and private companies.

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