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LWVOR Calls for Cybersecurity Funding to Protect Oregon

Date: February 26, 2022

To: All League Members and Supporters

From: Rebecca Gladstone, LWVOR President

The League strongly urges immediate support to fund Oregon cybersecurity defense:

FUND HB 4155: Oregon cybersecurity defense, League testimony; We are not protected.

DEADLINE: Session ends in days, contact your legislators to heed these dire warnings!

All of us are vulnerable to impending cyberwar, now beyond cyber criminals, with active cyber-retaliation threats against US sanctions to protect Ukraine. Delaying HB 4155 to the 2023 session would truly make us “sitting ducks”. We must act now.

Do cyber-attacks affect you? Think of Ukraine this week. Cyber attacks knocked out their government sites. Global markets are destabilizing for Energy, Technology, Finances, and Communications. Crippling cyber-attacks (committee video last week) are already in Oregon, with news partly veiled because we lack adequate defense.

We need to safeguard our cell and internet access. Oregon's power grids, financial sector, transportation- from airports to stoplights, bridges and dam-water controls, services from Special Districts, School Boards, cities, counties, and state agencies, to many businesses and groups - are all vulnerable. Oregon elections are a well-documented target.

“One legislator on the committee said, “If you aren’t scared, you’ve had your audio off during these hearings.”

We urge the Legislature MOST STRONGLY to protect us. Now budget funding is the only avenue left for HB 4155, despite extensive collaboration and broad bipartisan support. House Revenue Chair Nathanson, urging also on behalf of the Joint Information Management and Technology Committee, calls for funds while $15M in federal funds are still available to leverage.

“Oregonians and our “critical infrastructures”, anything connected digitally, are not adequately protected.”

LWVOR’s Privacy and Cybersecurity study showed that rapid changes require more urgent attention from our policymakers. We don’t need technical expertise to understand that cyber-attacks choose the most vulnerable targets. Cybersecurity defense funding cannot wait.

Contact your legislators to support funding for HB 4155, the cybersecurity omnibus bill.

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