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The Boston Globe

Nation

Panetta warns of possibility of ‘cyber-Pearl Harbor’

NEW YORK — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned Thursday that the United States is facing the possibility of a ‘‘cyber-Pearl Harbor’’ and that it was increasingly vulnerable to foreign computer hackers who could dismantle the nation’s power grid, transportation system, financial networks, and government.

In a speech at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York, Panetta painted a dire picture of how such an attack on the United States might unfold. He said he was reacting to increasing aggressiveness and technological advances by the nation’s adversaries, which officials identified as China, Russia, Iran, and militant groups.

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