Panetta warns of cyber attack

October 13, 2012 

Cyber attack by America’s enemies poses a greater threat than simply disrupting a computer network, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Thursday.

Terrorists or “an aggressor nation” can potentially cause physical destruction and death by gaining access to critical computer systems, Panetta said in a speech to Business Executives for National Security.

“They could, for example, derail passenger trains or even more dangerous, derail trains loaded with chemicals,” he said, according to a copy of the speech released by the Department of Defense on Friday. “They could contaminate the water supply in major cities or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.”

A joint attack on multiple systems at once could create “a cyber Pearl Harbor,” he said.

As a result of these threats, he said, the U.S. is putting $3 billion annually in the cyber security, including developing new capabilities to track down the source of cyber attack.

“Potential aggressors should be aware that the United States has the capacity to locate them and to hold them accountable for their actions that may try to harm America,” Panetta said.

He called the threat “a pre-9/11 moment.”

Chamber urges action on sequestration

The Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce Board adopted a resolution urging Congress and President Barack Obama to come to an agreement to stop sequestration.

Without one, across-the-board spending cuts will take place Jan. 2, resulting in a projected 9.4 percent reduction in most military spending and an 8.2 percent reduction in most non-defense spending outside of entitlement programs.

The resolution also encourages chamber members to contact elected officials about the issue.

“It is incumbent upon Congress to act together, in concert with the President of the United States, undivided by partisan politics, in order to reasonably resolve this potentially devastating economic measure,” Shaw Blackmon, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, said in a release.

Robins to honor military retirees

Robins Air Force Base is inviting military retirees to the base Oct. 27.

Retirees from all branches of service will be honored during Robins Retiree Appreciation Day, according to a story in the Robins Rev Up on Friday.

All retired military members as well as their spouses and family members with base access are invited to attend.

The day will begin with breakfast at the Wynn Dining Facility from 6:30-8 a.m. Registration will take place at the base theater from 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Col. Mitchel Butikofer, 78th Air Base Wing Commander, will give opening remarks at 10 a.m. Briefings will be held to include information about the base pharmacy, security forces and services.

A pay-as-you-go lunch will be at the Heritage Club’s Pizza Depot from noon to 12:30 p.m. A vendors area will also be at the Heritage Club where representatives of base organizations and local businesses will talk to retirees about the services they provide.

Drawings for door prizes will be held from 2-3 p.m.

For more information, stop by the Retiree Activities Office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m., call (478) 327-4707 or e-mail richard.delaney@robins.af.mil.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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