The Cybersecurity 202: Lawmakers slam State Department for …


Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 19, 2017. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

A bipartisan group of senators is criticizing the State Department for failing to meet what they say are basic federal cybersecurity standards — even neglecting to equip employees with multi-factor authentication that could protect them from the types of phishing attacks that Russian hackers have used to target political campaigns

In a letter sent Tuesday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the lawmakers pointed to recent reports showing the department lagged behind other federal agencies in safeguarding itself from cyberthreats. They specifically called on the State Department to roll out multi-factor authentication, or MFA, across its networks, saying a “password-only approach is no longer sufficient to protect sensitive information from sophisticated phishing attempts and other forms of credential theft.” 

“Two-factor authentication is cybersecurity 101,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), one of

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