FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., says if Congress doesn't act soon, all Americans – regardless of where they live – could see their daily lives impacted as cybercriminals continue to target the "broader" U.S. economy.
In just one month, critical infrastructure has been successfully targeted by malicious foreign actors. Among those affected was the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway and bus systems in New York City. While the MTA says no sensitive information was stolen, the incident raises questions about the possible implications that potential cybersecurity attacks against the MTA could have, not just for 8 million people living in the nation's largest city, but for all Americans.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Garbarino said that while the MTA hack focused on the information technology systems, cybercriminals "could just as easily disrupt the OT systems of MTA, which could put riders’ physical safety in danger and their personal information at risk."
"The potential ramifications are disastrous. Cyberattacks have the potential to have a massive impact on our broader economy, most recently, as was the case with Colonial and JBS, by disrupting critical supply chains," Garbarino, who is the ranking member of the House Committee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation, continued.
Garbarino said that cybercriminals are currently aiming to attack all critical infrastructure sectors, "from the financial services sector to the transportation sector."
"The MTA is just one of many recent cyberattacks we’ve seen. The point is that cybercriminals are going after our critical infrastructure and if we don’t work to mitigate cyber threats, it will affect Americans no matter where in the country you live. From increased gas prices to meat shortages, every American is at risk of feeling the effects of recent attacks," Garbarino explained.
The first-term congressman whose district is serviced by the MTA-operated Long Island Rail Road, said that the Biden administration has more to do when it comes to this threat.
"Although I am pleased to see that President Biden has heeded some of our calls to fully leverage the expertise of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, I think more still can be done over the coming years to empower it with the stature and resources it needs to effectively carry out its mission," Garbarino said.