AT&T Talks Cybersecurity With Congress

Congress is a tech-savvier place today than it was when Edward Amoroso, AT&T’s (T) chief security officer, started making trips to Washington more than 20 years ago.

Back then, he says, he would discuss virus threats at length before a lawmaker would raise his hand. “You’re expecting some question that might impress you, and they’d ask, ‘Can you tell me what a virus is?’”

Yesterday, however, when he addressed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, he was surprised to hear senators fluently discussing botnets and the recent cyber-attack against Estonia.

Exchanging glances with colleagues after the hearing, he recalls, “We made that face that you make when you’re kind of impressed.”

The subcommittee handles a wide range of communications, security and technology issues, and it conducted the hearing, titled “Cybersecurity: Assessing Our Vulnerabilities and Developing an Effective Defense,” to identify security threats and changes the government needs to make to fend them off.

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