Top 4 threats against America: the good and bad news

America’s top spy chiefs and intelligence experts come together every year to share their best guesses about the biggest threats that will face the country in the year ahead. Here are the top four pieces of good and bad news to come out of the annual threat-assessment hearing in Congress Tuesday.

4. Cyberattacks: bad news

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    The website of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was unavailable after reports that the website had been attacked in this 2011 photo.
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You name it. US intelligence officials have significantly upgraded the threat of cyberattack against key military computer networks and financial systems.

“Cyber threats pose a critical national and economic security concern due to the continued advances in – and growing dependency on – the information technology that underpins nearly all aspects of modern society,” according to the assessment. 

This includes, in particular, “enemies within China and Russia” conducting attacks against US networks and stealing data, according to Mr. Clapper. The assessment warns of an “increased breadth and sophistication” of computer network incursions. 

The assessment cited alarming “intrusions” into Nasdaq and International Monetary Fund networks which “underscore the vulnerability of key sectors of the US and global economy.” The bottom line, according to the assessment, is that “many intrusions into US networks are not being detected.” 

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