April 19, 2018

Hirono, Gardner Applaud South Korea’s Addition to DHS Cybersecurity Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) applauded the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inclusion of the Korea Internet and Security Agency, South Korea’s lead cybersecurity agency, in its Automated Indicator Sharing (AIS) system that enables the exchange of cyber threat indicators between international, federal, state, local, and private sector entities at machine speed.

“South Korea’s inclusion in the AIS program further strengthens our alliance and trilateral cooperation with Japan in facing shared cyber threats from North Korea and other malign actors,” said Senator Hirono. “I appreciate DHS’ work to expand the AIS system which shares important threat indicators with the Hawaii State Fusion Center, enabling our state to better protect our communities and infrastructure against cyberattacks.”

“Senator Hirono and I urged the Department of Homeland Security to include South Korea in this information sharing system, and I am glad they took our advice. South Korea is a close ally and this is an important step forward in our shared commitment to combat cyber threats,” said Senator Gardner. “Our two countries need to continue to work together and with our allies to protect our shared interests and combat bad actors in cyber space, including North Korea.” 

“As Hawaii businesses seek to maintain existing trade and look toward accessing new markets in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, protecting the integrity of their reputations and established intellectual properties is imperative,” said Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President & CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “While many local companies have gone to great lengths to ensure these protections in foreign markets, we need to have a firm understanding of factors that threaten the livelihood our businesses, including those in the cyber realm. The AIS is a valuable tool that serves to create a cyber-secure business community in our state and South Korea’s inclusion is welcome news.”

Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.), also signed the letter.

Click here to download a copy of the letter.

Threat indicators are pieces of information like malicious IP addresses or the sender address of a phishing email. In November 2017 Hirono and Gardner led a letter to then-acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke expressing support for increased cybersecurity cooperation with South Korea given the shared cyber threat from North Korea and urging DHS to expedite its participation in the AIS system which Japan joined last year. 

As of March 31, 2018, there are 33 federal entities and 175 non-federal entities connected to AIS. Twenty-nine of the 175 non-federal connections are information sharing and analysis organizations or cybersecurity providers who are able to redistribute the indicators to their customers and members. Thirteen states, including Hawaii, plus the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which includes all states, are connected to the AIS system.