A bipartisan Senate bill introduced Thursday would boost potential penalties for cyberattacks that knowingly damage critical infrastructure, including possible imprisonment for up to 20 years.
The reintroduction of the International Cybercrime Prevention Act comes on the heels of the Colonial Pipeline hack and other breaches that have prompted lawmaker interest in protecting dams, power plants, hospitals and election infrastructure.
The bill, which is led by Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Lindsey Graham, would also boost the Justice Department's authority to go to court to try to take down botnets.
"There ought to be some red faces in our national security establishment and in the corporate organizations that have resisted cybersecurity regulation," Whitehouse told reporters. "We have known for over a decade that critical infrastructure was the top target of cybercriminals and our top national security risk in the cyberspace."