Senators Manchin and Sinema Find Financial Support From G.O.P. Donors
G.O.P. Donors Step Up to Pay for Cross-Border Protections
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tuesday morning Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) announced more than 400 donors have funded their $20 million project to deploy 800 miles of protection to the U.S.-Mexico border with technology and better personnel. Funds were raised through philanthropists Jerry Murdock, Diane Horton, Dick Phelps, William Perpetua, Richard Wise, Tamara Dory, Kirk Rigby, and Frank Becker. [a]
“We know that technology is not an adequate solution to border security, and we need more than just the tools of the trade – we need boots on the ground and resources deployed to build a more secure border,” said Senator Manchin. “This private-public partnership will help us accomplish the many difficult barriers put in place by Congress, while providing homeland security with needed economic benefits to West Virginia and Arizona. Without the support of the private sector, the construction project would not be possible.”
“It takes a strong commitment from the people who live in the region to get it done,” said Senator Sinema. “Together, we will not be deterred by bureaucracy or politics, and we will come together with the private sector to protect our borders. We can make our country safer and secure.”
About Senator Bob Corker’s Wall Street Earthquake Reaction
On Monday, Senators Corker and Manchin announced more than $400,000 in cash had been raised from West Virginia and Arizona donors to pay for a series of cyber-attacks on Wall Street and its energy sector that triggered the Wall Street earthquake in August. Public, private, and open government leaders responded to the distress calls from the market to the authorities, who worked over the weekend and sent teams into a state of emergency in the energy industry, including the theft of more than $400,000 and subsequent computer coding and launching of malware.
According to the President of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – which is responsible for the allocation of electricity in this country – over $400,000 of this loss of revenue was due to “technical efforts by hackers attempting to manipulate markets in the trading of electricity.” It is estimated that this amounts to less than $200,000 of theft at the retail level, of which the majority was from systems owned by market participants and regional utilities, giving rise to a security decision to call the National Guard and put on site members of the Indiana National Guard to be used by multiple department agencies.
The Energy Department and the Department of Homeland Security have jointly requested $4.9 million to replace these vulnerable assets and the Nevada National Guard has been asked to take part in this project by supplying cyber security training, resources, and protection for those assets.
The assault lasted 24 hours beginning on August 10th through the midday of August 11th. It started with the theft of more than $400,000 from system operators. Over the course of the next 24 hours, malicious tools caused great damage to the system. Within the first two hours of the attack, ERCOT declared a state of emergency, and the EPA called for decontamination of the system and the widespread shutdown of computers running air conditioning in offices around the region. National Guard units were dispatched to take part in decontamination and cleanup efforts.
On the morning of August 11th, a Gartner report predicted that this incident was the first of several that would occur over the next 12 months due to the wide-spread use of RFID technology and Smart Grid power connectivity. “Wall Street will be hit by mobile attackers for the foreseeable future,” according to a Gartner report titled “This Is What a Smart Grid Crisis Looks Like: A Realistic Guide to Cybersecurity.” On the same day, Paul Poling, managing director at Altimeter Group, stated that this attack was a “warning shot to the rest of the industry.”
Senator Paul could not say how much damage the attacks did, and therefore is limited in what comment he can provide. A spokesperson for Senator Corker said that the event and subsequent calls from energy companies in the West state where he is the Senator “kicked off discussions about how the business community can help the government secure our systems.”
“The events of the last few months were a wake-up call to Wall Street and a reminder that the financial industry needs to work better together,” said Manchin. “I think