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Council President Brandon Scott calls for Federal Emergency & Disaster Declaration for Baltimore Cyber Attack

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Council President Brandon Scott calls for Federal Emergency & Disaster Declaration for Baltimore Cyber Attack

New York Times reports the attack is the result of a leaked NSA Cyberweapon 

BALTIMORE—City Council President Brandon Scott urged Governor Lawrence J. Hogan to seek a federal emergency and disaster declaration for the weeks-long cyber attack that has disabled city government computer systems and key citizen services.  

If granted, the Presidential FEMA declaration, would allow for federal reimbursement for damages, costs, and infrastructure repairs related to the incident. Under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act—42 U.S.C. 5721), only the Governor of a State can seek a Presidential FEMA declaration. 

Today, the New York Times reported that the Baltimore City attack and other attacks against cities and towns across the U.S. are the result of a National Security Agency (N.S.A.) developed Cyberweapon that was stolen in a security breach. The N.S.A. Cyberweapon, named “EternalBlue” is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damages and is thought to be the most destructive and costly N.S.A. security breach in history.   

“I’ve reached out to Governor Hogan’s Office today to urge his leadership and cooperation in seeking Federal Emergency & Disaster Declaration for this incident,” said Council President Scott. “Given the new information and circumstances its even more clear that the federal government needs to have a larger role in supporting the City’s recovery, including federal reimbursement for damages.”

“I’m confident that our state leadership will do what is right for Maryland’s largest city and citizens that have been attacked, likely by foreign actors, through no fault of their own,” Council President Scott continued. “The fact that the root technology that enabled this attack came from our own federal government, just miles away, only adds insult to injury. I’m also confident that our federal delegation understands that Cybersecurity is a critically important threat that can wreak disastrous consequences and must be categorized accordingly," Council President Scott concluded. 

Last week, Council President Scott called for the creation of a Special City Council Committee on Cybersecurity and Emergency Preparedness to investigate the attack calling it a “crisis of the utmost urgency”.

Last year, during City Budget oversight hearings, Council President Scott urged city officials to prepare for disruptive cyber attack.


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