Senate Ukraine Bill Gets Cyber Amendment

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced an amendment Monday to a large Ukrainian aid package being debated in the Senate that seeks to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the US and Ukraine on fighting cyber crime, according to a release from Kirk’s office. “Ukraine has long been considered an international haven for hackers, and last year’s massive data breach affecting millions of US customers of Target and other leading American retailers, has been traced to cyber crime syndicates operating in Ukraine,” states the release. The amendment would mandate US-Ukraine bilateral talks on cyber crime cooperation, stand up a senior level working group to conduct regular dialogues on cyber crime issues, and find opportunities to build Ukraine’s capacity to combat cyber criminals and to cooperate with US and European Union officials. Cyber security experts say Russian hackers have become involved in digital crime networks based in Ukraine, and the city of Odessa is reported to be one of the world’s largest online marketplaces for stolen credit and debit card data. Kirk and Warner say better cooperation could stamp out the cost of cyber crime, which cost businesses worldwide over $11 billion last year.