This Bipartisan Legislation Comes At Time When Iran is Increasingly Launching Cyberattacks Against the United States and Abraham Accords Countries Targeting Critical Infrastructure
WASHINGTON DC – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), James Lankford (R-OK), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Abraham Accords Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2023. This bipartisan legislation would build upon the recent expansion of the Abraham Accords into cybersecurity by authorizing cybersecurity cooperation between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Abraham Accords countries – Israel, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain – including participating in information-sharing, providing technical assistance to help partners respond to cybersecurity incidents, and conducting joint cybersecurity training and exercises. This increased partnership will help defend against shared cyber threats from Iran and other hostile cyber actors, including those targeting critical infrastructure and ransomware attacks.
“The Abraham Accords are fostering an unprecedented level of security cooperation between the U.S., Israel, and our Arab partners,” dijo el Senador Rosen. “At a time when Iran and other hostile cyber actors are targeting the United States and Abraham Accords countries with malicious cyberattacks, this bipartisan legislation will help strengthen our collective cybersecurity defenses against shared threats.”
“The Iranian regime has persistently attacked the American homeland and our partners and allies seeking to degrade our cyber infrastructure and steal our secrets,” said Senator Ernst. “I am proud to support this legislation to strengthen the Abraham Accords and counter Iran’s malicious activities.”
“Cybersecurity is a global problem that requires international cooperation and collaboration,” said Senator Booker. “This legislation will enhance cooperation between Abraham Accords countries by facilitating information sharing and coordinating responses to cyberattacks, strengthening our collective ability to combat these evolving threats.”
“Most Oklahomans and Americans never get to hear about the quiet work of our national cybersecurity teams who work to keep us safe,” said Senator Lankford. “Bad actors like Iran relentlessly engage in cyber warfare, including targeting of critical infrastructure and ransomware attacks. Allies like Israel bring tremendous capabilities to the table to strengthen our mutual security in the cyber domain, which is why I am co-leading this bill to formally strengthen our network defense and cybersecurity work alongside the Abraham Accords countries.”
“The signing of the Abraham Accords was a historic milestone in forging a lasting peace in the Middle East and has encouraged cooperation and economic prosperity,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The bipartisan Abraham Accords Cybersecurity Cooperation Act would increase civil cybersecurity cooperation, strengthen our ability to protect critical infrastructure, and enable greater security in the region.”
“As DHS officials and regional ambassadors highlighted just last week, increased information sharing, technical assistance, and joint training in cybersecurity among the United States and the Abraham Accords countries will bring national security, law enforcement, and economic benefits to all participants,” said William Wechsler, Senior Director of the Atlantic Council’s N7 Initiative. “Senator Rosen’s legislation provides an important boost to increased cooperation in this critical area.”
Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, Senator Rosen has led the way on efforts to strengthen the agreements. Senators Rosen, Ernst, Booker, and Lankford are the founding co-chairs of the Senate Abraham Accords Caucus. Last month, Senator Rosen led the Caucus in introducing the bipartisan Maritime Architecture and Response to International Terrorism in the Middle East (MARITIME) Act to counter maritime threats posed by Iran. Earlier this year, Senators Rosen and Lankford also led a bipartisan delegation of Senate colleagues, including Senator Gillibrand, on a visit to Abraham Accords countries to discuss ways the Accords could be strengthened and expanded to bring in additional countries.