FORT MEADE, Md. (WJZ) — Terrorist groups trying to attack critical computer systems in the U.S. remain a top security threat. Now one Maryland congressman is pushing hard for changes that would keep us safe, and keep military secrets out of enemy hands.

Ava-joye Burnett has more on the change that would put Maryland at the forefront of the war on cyber terrorism.

If Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger has his way, Fort Meade will see a massive expansion, with the sole purpose of fighting the cyber security battle that’s raging right now.

Congressman Ruppersberger is on a warpath against terrorists who are using the Internet to attack America.

“Anything having to do with a computer, you can knock it out,” he said.

Ruppersberger is pushing a bill to expand the Cyber Command Unit at Fort Meade. The unit would protect American military networks from hackers and fight terrorist groups who have found a haven online.

“We know that ISIS is penetrating our networks. We know that, right now, ISIS is not only recruiting, they are radicalizing individuals in the United States, but they are giving orders on how to attack and where to attack. So this is already happening right now,” said Rep. Ruppersberger.

The House has already passed a bill that would upgrade the Cyber Command Unit at Fort Meade. It’s now up to the Senate to make the final move.

Cyber experts agree making the change is crucial — because the new frontlines of war are online.

“The war on terror and any way for that nature is started somewhere in the cyber environment now before it actually becomes something physical in this world,” said Steve Taormino, cyrber expert.

If approved, Cyber Command at Fort Meade will get more money to fight an ever-changing threat from those who want to attack America — in more ways than one.

“It is scary stuff, and that’s why it’s so important that Congress comes together and gets their act together,” said Ruppersberger.

Congressman Ruppersberger says Maryland is already known as the cyber security capital of the world. He says, if approved, the change would bring even more cyber jobs to Fort Meade.

Ava-joye Burnett

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