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Panetta Warns of Dire Threat of Cyberattack on U.S. New York Times (10/12/12) Elisabeth Bumiller; Thom Shanker

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Panetta Warns of Dire Threat of Cyberattack on U.S.
New York Times (10/12/12) Elisabeth Bumiller; Thom Shanker

from http://technews.acm.org/

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta yesterday warned of the potential for disastrous consequences if an enemy of the U.S. were to carry out a cyberattack on the nation’s critical infrastructure. Panetta says the U.S.’s adversaries are becoming increasingly aggressive and are improving their technology, so much so that they could launch cyberattacks on vulnerable computer systems used to operate the power grid, transportation system, financial networks, and the government. He says these attacks could result in the derailment of passenger trains carrying dangerous chemicals, the contamination of water supplies in major U.S. cities, or the failure of the nation’s power grid. Panetta says the most worrisome scenario is a cyberattack on critical infrastructure carried out in tandem with a physical attack, which would amount to a cyber-Pearl Harbor that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, and could terrorize the populace to such an extent that it would create “a profound new sense of vulnerability.” However, Panetta says improved cyberdefenses alone will not prevent a cyberattack against the nation’s critical infrastructure, which is why the Defense Department has developed the ability to conduct “effective operations” to mitigate threats to U.S. interests in cyberspace.

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Written by youryblog

October 12, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Posted in SecurityNews

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