Anti-Hacking Team Sees ‘Red Threat’ Unless Firms Share Data

Source: Bloomberg

In an 11-story office building in the Washington suburbs, hundreds of U.S. cybersecurity analysts work around the clock to foil hackers. Possible breaches of government networks show up as red flashes on screens that line the walls.

Something big is coming, some of the analysts say.

They’re speaking not of any imminent hack, but of what they see as a chance to expand their influence. So far, their five-year-oldNational Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Centerhas largely occupied itself monitoring threats to government networks. Now, with backing on Capitol Hill, it is poised to bolster its role as an anti-hacking coordinator between U.S. banks, utilities and other companies operating the networks that millions of Americans use daily.

“If we don’t know what’s going on, we can’t respond to it,” Larry Zelvin, director of the center, said in an interview. “Sometimes we don’t know about an attack until it comes up in the news or social media.”

U.S. lawmakers are fast-tracking a measure that would legally protect companies that tell the center and each other about malicious activities on their networks. The legislation is designed to address industry executives’ concerns that disclosing these vulnerabilities could expose them to lawsuits or regulators’ scrutiny, or that certain communications with competitors could invite antitrust actions.

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