Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, said the state should approach NSA or the federal government for money to help in defending against the cyberattacks.
"They are costing us a ton of money," Oda said. "They need to pony up."
Squires — whose department includes a team that investigates cybercrimes not only against the state, but also against its residents — said any time the state finds itself in controversy, cyberattacks seem to increase.
For example, Col. Daniel Fuhr, superintendent of the Utah Highway Patrol, said news media photos of a controversial shooting of a young black man last year in Saratoga Springs showed a marked UHP car in the background.
Even though UHP was not involved in the shooting, Fuhr immediately had his personal credit cards and bank accounts come under heavy cyberattack.
He said it led to "long nights of ensuring your credit card numbers are intact, and all your bank numbers are changed over. My poor sweet wife was livid."
Squires said the leap in cyberattacks "tells you just how exponentially this has increased over the years, how many more criminals are realizing it is easier to steal from individuals, and businesses and government online and [with] less chance of getting caught" than robbing a bank.
Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, co-chairman of the committee, said it shows the increasing value of the state cybercrimes unit — which he added he personally realized when his identity was stolen and a criminal in Texas charged $80,000 worth of business-telephone equipment to him.
He said the company that was victimized "just reported it to insurance, and wrote it off," even though Hutchings noted the amount stolen was equivalent to 16 typical bank robberies.
"What a wonderful criminal environment to be in, where people don't even look for you," Hutchings said. "But if you rob 16 banks, you would be on the FBI's most wanted [list]. You rob it out of my credit, 'Eh, whatever, it's the cost of doing business.' "