Congressman seeks discussion on House cybersecurity

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One of two federal lawmakers who disclosed last summer that their office PCs were infiltrated by foreign hackers is calling on House leaders to schedule a special Congressional meeting on cybersecurity.

The bipartisan session would be held to raise awareness of the growing threats posed by cybercriminals, according to a Monday letter from Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va.

Wolf wrote letters on Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter, Minority Leader John Boehner and ranking Republican on the House Rules Committee David Dreier.

The letters, first published by the National Journal, requested the "secret session" be held within the first 50 days of the new Congressional session, which opened Tuesday. The meeting seeks to address threats to House information security, risks to lawmakers traveling abroad and efforts being made to secure House networks and portable devices.

Last June, Wolf said that four of his Capitol Hill machines were compromised in August 2006 by hackers attempting to steal confidential information. Rep. Chris Wolf, R-N.J., who appeared with Wolf at a press conference, also disclosed that hackers, believed to be from China, took over some of his office computers.

Other lawmakers also were affected, according to reports.

Chinese officials have denied responsibility.

"It is logical to assume that critical and sensitive information about U.S. foreign policy and the work of Congress was open to view from these official computers," Wolf said in the letter.

He said Congress held discussions on the incidents in September, but the meetings had poor attendance.

"I fear that members are no better informed today than they were before," he said.
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