A bipartisan group of senators wants to authorize cybersecurity cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and nations that have signed onto the Abraham Accords countries through a new piece of legislation introduced on May 31.

The Abraham Accords Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2023 – spearheaded by Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and co-sponsored by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Cory Booker, D-N.J., James Lankford, R-Okla., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. – is aimed at boosting cyber defense partnerships between the U.S., Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco.

The bill calls for the U.S. and the Abraham Accords countries to help defend against shared cyber threats from Iran and other “hostile cyber actors,” including those targeting critical infrastructure and employing ransomware, the senators said.

“The Abraham Accords are fostering an unprecedented level of security cooperation between the U.S., Israel, and our Arab partners,” Sen. Rosen said in a statement. “At a time when Iran and other hostile cyber actors are targeting the United States and Abraham Accords countries with malicious cyberattacks, this bipartisan legislation will help strengthen our collective cybersecurity defenses against shared threats.”

This bipartisan legislation would build upon the recent expansion of the Abraham Accords into cybersecurity by authorizing cybersecurity cooperation – including participating in information-sharing, providing technical assistance to help partners respond to cybersecurity incidents, and conducting joint cybersecurity training and exercises.

“Cybersecurity is a global problem that requires international cooperation and collaboration,” said Sen. Booker. “This legislation will enhance cooperation between Abraham Accords countries by facilitating information sharing and coordinating responses to cyberattacks, strengthening our collective ability to combat these evolving threats.”

The Department of Homeland Security announced in February that it would expand its cooperation with the Abraham Accords countries as a group to include cybersecurity.

“The signing of the Abraham Accords was a historic milestone in forging a lasting peace in the Middle East and has encouraged cooperation and economic prosperity,” Sen. Gillibrand said. “The bipartisan Abraham Accords Cybersecurity Cooperation Act would increase civil cybersecurity cooperation, strengthen our ability to protect critical infrastructure, and enable greater security in the region.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.