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[ISN] Cyber Attacks Becoming Top Terror Threat, FBI Says
By J. Nicholas Hoover
February 01, 2012
Cyber attacks against government agencies and businesses in the United
States continue to rise, and cyber threats will one day surpass the
danger of terrorism to the United States, intelligence community
officials said in an open hearing of the Senate select intelligence
"Stopping terrorists is the number one priority," said FBI director
Robert Mueller. "But down the road, the cyber threat will be the number
one threat to the country. I do not think today it is necessarily [the]
number one threat, but it will be tomorrow."
The rare open hearing of the Senate's intelligence committee, an annual
one that surveys the threats to the United States from around the globe,
included testimony by Mueller, director of national intelligence James
Clapper, and CIA director David Petraeus. Tuesday's hearing looked at
the broad spectrum of threats to the nation, but numerous administration
officials will brief Congress in a classified hearing today that will
focus more pointedly on cybersecurity.
Congress' interest in cybersecurity remains high. Both the House and
Senate continue to work toward comprehensive legislation on the issue.
The House Committee on Homeland Security is marking up cybersecurity
legislation Wednesday, and the Senate will move to consider a
comprehensive cybersecurity bill later this month, though industry has
raised concerns about cost over the Senate bill. The Senate homeland
security and governmental affairs committee has indicated that it may
hold a hearing on that bill within the next two weeks.
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