Former CIA Director Panetta Speaks at UM - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Former CIA Director Panetta Speaks at UM

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MISSOULA - Former Director of the CIA and Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spoke at a lecture series at the University of Montana on Thursday.

Panetta was the head of the CIA from 2009 to 2011 and oversaw the operation that brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

Panetta said today, many terrorist acts are fueled by technological advances.

He said cyber terrorism can cripple electrical grids, transportation, financial and chemical and water systems.

And, Panetta said it doesn't have to involve military action on the ground-- it can stem from one person on a computer anywhere in the world.

"Frankly, this country has to be very aware of the fact that this is a potential for a Pearl Harbor of the future could very well be one that involves a cyber attack," Panetta said.

Panetta said it's important for the U.S. to invest in technology to combat cyber attacks, and develop more talented experts who understand it.

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