Another Pearl Harbor, or is Panetta FUDing for DOD dollars?

A day after I complain about a PR flak comparing Stuxnet to the A-bomb over Hiroshima, this article appears in the Washington Times where Defense Secretary Leon Panetta worries about a digital Pearl Harbor:

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned Wednesday that a cyberattack on the United States could cause “another Pearl Harbor” by blacking out private and government electric power grids and throwing the nation into a panic. “I think the more this technology develops, the more the will to potentially use it is going to take place,” he testified before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on defense. “I think there’s a high risk.” Mr. Panetta said U.S. private and public sectors are targets of hundreds of thousands of attacks every day.

The rest of the article is here.

My post about the bad PR pitch is here.

One observation worth making is that defense secretaries always ratchet up the rhetoric on threats against the U.S. when DOD faces budget cuts in Congress. The Washington Times makes note of the potential cuts:

Mr. Panetta and Gen. Dempsey also warned lawmakers that the looming “sequestration” defense cuts would be disastrous for the nation’s military preparedness. The automatic cuts, scheduled to go into effect Jan. 2 if Democrats and Republicans fail to come up with a long-term budget solution, would cost the Pentagon about $500 billion in projected spending over 10 years on top of the $492 billion that President Obama and congressional Republicans already agreed to in last summer’s deficit-cutting budget.

Instead of further opining on my part, let's open the floor for some discussion. Do you think Panetta's concerns are genuine or is he just FUDing for DOD dollars?

Don't be shy.

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