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U.S. lawmaker seeks information from CEOs on cyber attacks


(Reuters) — A senior Democratic lawmaker on Wednesday asked the chief executives of five companies, including Home Depot Inc., Target Corp. and Kmart, to share more information about recent cyber attacks on their companies.

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he was concerned about the rising number of cyber intrusions and media reports that they originate from overseas.

“The increased frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks on both public and private entities highlights the need for greater collaboration to improve data security,” Rep. Cummings wrote in the letter, which was distributed to journalists.

“Your company’s knowledge, information and experience with this recent data breach will be helpful as Congress examines federal cybersecurity laws and any necessary improvements to protect sensitive consumer and government financial information.”

A Home Depot spokesman said the company will continue to cooperate with lawmakers and others. He declined to provide details.

Rep. Cummings’ letter also went to Community Health Systems and the parent company of U.S. Investigations Services, USIS, a firm that performs background checks on U.S. government employees. USIS was victim of a breach that compromised data of at least 25,000 workers, including some undercover investigators.

Cyber attacks on retail outlets, such as Home Depot and Target, have affected tens of millions of American customers. Other widespread breaches include Michaels Stores Inc. and Neiman Marcus.

Rep. Cummings sent a similar letter to the postmaster general on Monday after the U.S. Postal Service revealed it was the victim of a cyber attack that may have compromised the personal information of more than 800,000 employees, as well as data on customers who contacted its call center this year.

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