So President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Defense Department, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, called cyber attacks against critical infrastructure or government networks as "insidious a threat as any other" that can instantly "paralyze" a country during his ongoing confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
He used language that was just a little toned down from Secretary of State nominee John Kerry's acknowledgement last week that cyber is the world's "greatest threat."
As expected, Hagel went on to say that cyber will be a priority for him is he becomes the next defense secretary.
Also as expected, Hagel implied that Congress needs to pass cyber security legislation to deal with "lots of complications" introduced by the all encompassing nature of cyber that the nation has never had to face before when making national security choices.
What kinds of complications? He was referring to the questions out there about how much cash the Pentagon should devote to cyber war, what constitutes an act of cyber war versus cyber espionage or crime who is responsible for defending critical infrastructure providers such as banks, communications firms, tranportation companies and energy firms from a cyber attack that could harm millions of people; DoD, DHS or the private companies themselves?
Other than these short comments, as of 2:30 this afternoon, there hasn't been much talk of 'one of the greatest national security threats' facing the U.S. between during a hearing that's all about national security.
John Reed reports on the frontiers of cyber war and the latest in military technology for Killer Apps.