Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently painted a bleak picture of American preparedness for cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, warning that America is open to a threat that could “be just as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11.”

DODDefense Secretary Leon Panetta painted a bleak picture of American preparedness for cyber attacks on critical infrastructure in a recent speech, warning that America is open to the threat of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” that could “be just as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11.” Panetta described the threats to U.S. critical infrastructure as dire:

“An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches… They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.”

Panetta’s comments come after a string of cyber attacks targeting the private banking industry and his doomsday scenario of critical infrastructure security failures is backed by the twenty-fold increase in deployments for Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Computer Emergency Readiness Team (ICS-CERT) since it’s creation in 2009.

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Source: Andrea Peterson | Science Progress
Image: U.S. Department of Defense