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Hassan Talks Cybersecurity After Strafford County Virus Attack

Sara Ernst
/
NHPR
Senator Maggie Hassan talking with local officials at the Strafford County Commissioner’s Office.";

Senator Maggie Hassan visited Strafford County on Monday to learn how officials there dealt with a June cyberattack. Hassan, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, says she's looking for ways federal legislation can help local governments deal with cybercrime. 

Echoing the input she heard from local officials, Hassan said there needs to be a structure in place to help large and small organizations collaborate in combating cybercrime.

“We need to invest in resources that allow there to be information-sharing between and among the private sector, federal government, state, local and county government,” said Hassan.

Hassan also informed local officials of the support available from the federal government. 

“Constituencies here in New Hampshire, especially law enforcement and public safety, [need to] know what resources they have through the secret services and our multi-state information and analysis centers.”

George Maglaras, the chairman of the Strafford County Board of Commissioners, suggested the federal government can do its part by passing harsher penalties for these crimes. 

“So I also believe that the federal government needs to take a stronger approach, a more aggressive approach, said Maglaras. “As far as I’m concerned, it needs to be criminalized. And that’s going to take an act of Congress in a bipartisan effort to make sure that to occur.” 

The June cyberattack came in the form of a virus. Officials say it was not a ransomware attack and no money was requested. 

Strafford County successfully combated its attack. No digital documents were compromised and the server was quickly back online, officials said. 

The county launched a criminal investigation into the attack with the help of the U.S. Secret Service.

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