(WASHINGTON) - Top U.S. intelligence officials have raised their concerns about the growing vulnerability of the United States to cyber-warfare threats and malicious computer activity that CIA Director Leon Panetta said “represents the battleground for the future."
Panetta, along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “This threat is increasing in scope and scale, and its impact is difficult to overstate," Clapper told the committee.
Clapper said that according to industry estimates there are now roughly 60,000 new malicious computer programs that are identified each day. “Some of these are what we define as advanced persistent threats, which are difficult to detect and counter,” Clapper said.
“This is a real national security threat that we have to pay attention to. I know there are a lot of aspects to it," Director Panetta told the committee. "The Internet, the cyber-arena, is -- this is a vastly growing area of information that can be used and abused in a number of ways.”
Over the past several years, U.S. officials and computer security experts have faced a wide array of diverse and growing computer threats ranging from attempted infiltrations of Department of Defense Computers and high-profile companies being hacked, to the massive data breach and related cyber-attacks involving WikiLeaks.
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