In Which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Freaks Everyone Out About Cyberattacks


Secretary Panetta. (Photo:

Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta took a little trip to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, where he gave a speech. The New York Times reports that in that speech, he proceeded to do what appears to have been his damnedest to scare the ever-loving crap out of everyone, everywhere about the prospect of cyberattacks on our precious bodily fluids American infrastructure.

Painting a picture that sounds an awful lot like a Michael Bay film, Secretary Panetta warned

“An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches,” Mr. Panetta said. “They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.”

Mass chaos: It’s not just for Deceptacons any more!

He also dropped the term “cyber-Pearl Harbor,” because of course.

The New York Times also points out that Mr. Panetta is currently stumping for new legislation demanding new standards for things like power plants and gas pipelines. So, you know–grain of salt and all.