Cyber attacks against government agencies and businesses in the United States continue to rise, and cyber threats will one day surpass the danger of terrorism to the United States, intelligence community officials said in an open hearing of the Senate select intelligence community Tuesday.
“Stopping terrorists is the number one priority,” said FBI director Robert Mueller. “But down the road, the cyber threat will be the number one threat to the country. I do not think today it is necessarily [the] number one threat, but it will be tomorrow.”
The rare open hearing of the Senate’s intelligence committee, an annual one that surveys the threats to the United States from around the globe, included testimony by Mueller, director of national intelligence James Clapper, and CIA director David Petraeus. Tuesday’s hearing looked at the broad spectrum of threats to the nation, but numerous administration officials will brief Congress in a classified hearing today that will focus more pointedly on cybersecurity.