Gardner Statement on North Korea’s Cyber Attack on the Defense Industry

Washington, DC– Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today released the below statement following reports that North Korean hackers obtained more than 40,000 documents, including blueprints to U.S. fighter jets, in a cyberattack on the defense industry.


“Today’s news is further evidence that North Korea’s cyber capabilities are growing and present an evolving threat to the United States and its allies,” said Gardner. “It is outrageous that given the gravity of the threat and the brazenness of the North Korean regime, the Obama Administration has failed to impose sanctions on North Korean cyber criminals, as required under my North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act. I call on the Administration to do so immediately and to present a strategy to address North Korean cyber threats as soon as possible, actions that my bill requires and the Administration has not yet completed. The United States must act swiftly to apply additional pressure on the regime to deter its growing belligerence in cyberspace and elsewhere.”


Gardner’s North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act (NKSPEA), which was signed into law by President Obama, requires the President to submit a strategy to counter North Korean cyber-related attacks and impose U.S. sanctions on cybercriminals, within 90 days of the bill becoming law. The legislation also imposes mandatory sanctions on individuals who contribute to North Korea’s nuclear program and proliferation activities, malicious cyberattacks, censorship of its citizens, and the regime’s continued human rights abuses. It is the first piece of legislation approved by Congress to impose mandatory sanctions on cybercriminals, which is a drastic new direction away from the current discretionary sanctions. The Administration, however, has not sanctioned any cybercriminals to date, nor has the Administration submitted a strategy to counter North Korean cyberattacks.



Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. 

354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

(202) 224-5941