Biden will grant new powers to the Coast Guard to respond to cyberattacks


The U.S. government will secure the country's ports against potential cyberattacks, granting new powers to the Coast Guard to handle such situations and establishing new requirements for the use of cranes manufactured in China, among other measures.

President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Wednesday that will provide clear authority to Coast Guard port captains to take action in case of cybersecurity threats.

These measures could range from restricting the movement of suspicious vessels to establishing and verifying new requirements for the use of port infrastructure.

Additionally, the government will invest over $20 billion over the next five years in domestic crane manufacturing for use in ports, hoping to counter the dominance of Chinese machinery in the sector.

These measures "are clear examples of President Joe Biden's efforts to invest in the United States, secure the country's supply chain, and strengthen the cybersecurity of key infrastructure," said White House Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger in a press call.

Approximately 80% of cranes used to transport cargo from ships to land in the United States are manufactured in China, according to Admiral John Vann, head of the Coast Guard's Cyber Command.

These cranes can be operated and programmed remotely, making them vulnerable to exploitation. Therefore, the office will also issue a directive imposing certain cybersecurity requirements on the owners and operators of these cranes.

Neuberger clarified that, at this moment, the White House is not considering replacing any of the cranes already in operation. Still, it will ensure to promote domestic production to bolster the security of ports, a crucial part of the country's critical infrastructure.