Could hackers gain a global kill click?

The internet cables that connect the world are vulnerable to cyberattacks and Congress wants to know whos in charge of protecting them.

There is no clear answer for its members, however.

Its not so much that heres clear jurisdiction and it ends at this part of the internet architecture and then the next person picks it up, said Jeanette Manfra, assistant director for cybersecurity at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Its really largely private sector-led in all cases and what we have is different tools to analyze and make assessment and take action if we have some concerns.

Manfra, testifying at a Sept. 10 joint hearing in front of the House Armed Services Subcommittee and the House Oversight Committee about internet architecture security, said that it works across several agencies in the federal government on the issue, including the Pentagon, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the intelligence community and several other entities.

Edwin Wilson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy at the DoD, said the Pentagon also works with several government agencies. He added that the DoD includes undersea cables in its contingency plans and threat exercises.

Asked directly by Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., if the vulnerabilities were being addressed, Wilson didnt directly answer.

We understand the threat and we understand the vulnerabilities, Wilson said. So the next is how do you mitigate those risks ... and so we have ....

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