WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a senior member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, today released the following statement reacting to the indictment of a group of Iranian hackers for a 2013 cyberattack on a Westchester dam:

“Today’s indictment confirms that we must take cybersecurity more seriously.  As I said earlier this month, this attack could easily have had far more serious repercussions for the region.  We know now that the only thing that prevented these hackers from exercising actual control over the Bowman Avenue Dam is that the dam happened to be under maintenance at the time.  When the next hostile foreign actor or criminal hacker group seizes control of a vulnerable piece of infrastructure, we won’t be able to count on luck.

“Clearly our infrastructure needs more work if we are going to be confident in our ability to repel the next cyberattack.  I am drafting legislation that will address many of these concerns at the earliest stage of infrastructure projects, ensuring cybersecurity will be a top priority starting before major projects can receive a license to begin construction.

“Meanwhile, as I have said many times, Iran cannot be trusted.  We will not tolerate hostile actions like these.  The Department of Justice is right to pin the blame where it belongs. But Iran is not the only bad actor out there.  We can and must do more to harden our nation against cyber threats.”