The Biden administration has called on states and local governments to apply for new cybersecurity grants worth $1 billion over four years.
The move is part of US efforts to beat back attacks from criminal hackers, who have successfully targeted everything from gas pipelines and meat factories to schools and hospitals.
“Cyberattacks have emerged as one of the most significant threats to our homeland,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, adding that attackers are exploiting the “limited capacity” of states and local governments.
US jurisdictions battling ransomware and other cyberattacks on schools, railways, power grids, waste-water systems and more now have 60 days to apply for some of the $185 million available in the first installment, which runs through this year, part of the infrastructure bill that was approved in 2021. Officials said every state is eligible for $2 million to develop their own statewide cybersecurity plan.
The administration has made numerous efforts to try to curb the deluge of attacks, including indicting hackers, going after entities that allegedly aid in laundering illicit proceeds and ordering software companies that do business with the government to attest that they comply with new cyber standards.
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