Security Experts:

House Passes Cybersecurity Bills Focusing on Energy Sector, Information Sharing

The US House of Representatives this week passed two cybersecurity bills: the Energy Cybersecurity University Leadership Act and the RANSOMWARE Act.

RANSOMWARE is an acronym for ‘Reporting Attacks from Nations Selected for Oversight and Monitoring Web Attacks and Ransomware from Enemies’.

The bill, authored by Congressman Gus Bilirakis, aims to amend and update the SAFE WEB Act of 2006, which gives the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to provide evidence to foreign law enforcement agencies in an effort to support investigations and enforcement actions.

The amendments proposed by Bilirakis will require the FTC to report on cross-border complaints involving ransomware and other cyber threats. The bill specifically mentions cyberattacks conducted by Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

According to the lawmaker, the RANSOMWARE Act would “strengthen the federal government’s efforts to respond to recent ransomware and other cyber-attacks from foreign adversaries.” He said the legislation ultimately benefits American consumers.

The second bill that passed the House this week is the Energy Cybersecurity University Leadership Act, which requires the Department of Energy to establish an Energy Cybersecurity University Leadership Program.

As part of this program, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers would be provided financial assistance for taking courses that integrate cybersecurity and disciplines associated with the needs of the energy infrastructure.

The bipartisan bill also requires the DoE to ensure that these students and researchers can gain experience at national laboratories and utilities.

The Energy Cybersecurity University Leadership Act, sponsored by representatives Deborah Ross and Mike Carey, was passed by the House as part of a block of bills.

Related: Cyber Incident Disclosure Bill Passes in Senate Amid Fears of Russian Attacks

Related: House Passes ICS Cybersecurity Training Bill

Related: Senators Introduce Bipartisan Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Bill

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.