6 Senators Urge Obama to Prioritize Cybersecurity at G20

The senators say global cooperation is needed.

— -- Six senators have sent President Obama a letter urging him to make cybersecurity a priority at this weekend’s G20 Summit in China.

The senators, who are all Democrats, cited the theft of $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh by hackers in February as well as other attacks as giving impetus to the need for further discussions on cyber issues.

The senators -- Gary Peters (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Mark Warner (D-VA) -- said in the letter: “It is critical that the global community craft and implement a coordinated strategy to combat cyber-crime at critical financial institutions and to strengthen and accelerate existing efforts.

"Our financial institutions are connected in order to facilitate global commerce, but cyber criminals -- whether independent or state-sponsored -- imperil this international system in a way few threats have," they wrote.

The senators said global coordination on cybersecurity was needed in order to address vulnerabilities in financial systems shared by countries around the world, as well as to improve cooperation between law enforcement and regulators at the international level to “better enable them to pursue counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering agendas.”

A senior administration official told ABC News that White House officials “expect members will affirm their commitment to cooperate to fight cybercrime and to enhance confidence and trust in the digital economy” at the G20 summit.

At last year’s G20 Summit in Turkey, the official said, world leaders agreed that international law applied to cyberspace.