Slide Show | September 2012

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8 Ways Cyberterrorism Threatens You

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Imagine these very chilling -- and real -- possibilities: The money in your bank accounts gone. Drinking water contaminated. Your home and business hit by widespread and prolonged power outages. Areawide explosions and chemical gas leaks. These are just some of the horrific ways cyberterrorists can mess with your life and business.

With a recent attack on mideast oil companies, the Pentagon is taking notice. "This is a pre-9/11 moment," Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned in a recent speech. Some members of Congress will make another push before yearend for a comprehensive cybersecurity law. Meanwhile, the president is mulling an executive order to press government agencies to exchange information with private industries and create cyber standards.

Private defenses also remain full of holes. Expect a big ramp-up in spending on bolstering firewalls and other defense mechanisms, with tech firms such as Cisco, Oracle and McAfee in the thick of the action -- and hiring.

Click through our slide show to see where we're most vulnerable.

8 Ways Cyberterrorism Threatens You

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