US forces must help block infrastructure cyberattacks: Panetta

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta listed effective offensive and defensive cyber capabilities as one of the department's top priorities in a discussion on national security concerns with military service members during an Aug. 5 visit to U.S. Strategic Command headquarters at Offutt Air Base, Neb., reports the American Forces Press Service.

In addition to discussing the importance of pursuing terrorist networks around the globe, Panetta reminded troops that attacks against the United States are not just limited to people and places but also include cyberattacks against U.S. critical infrastructure that potentially could take down the nation's power grid, financial systems, government systems and banking systems.

“They could virtually paralyze this country,” he said, in reference to such cyberattacks. "We have to be prepared to deal with that."

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