US Defense Secretary Warns Future Cyber Attacks

The United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has revealed on Thursday evening at a New York meeting for the Business Executives for National Security (BENS) that the U.S. is currently facing a huge increase in cyber attacks, such that future instances of these assaults could cripple the nation the same way the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center did back in 2001. 

Panetta specifically warned the leaders of the business sector

Against the danger of large-scale cyber attacks and the effects of such events on their companies.
The secretary states that attacks from cyberspace masterminded by extremist groups reminiscent of the Al Qaeda could be as crippling and impact as the 9-11 terrorist attacks, such that these cyber terrorists could paralyze the United States of America altogether from afar.
The Secretary of Defense further explained why the military should be more concerned about defending the country's critical infrastructure in the coming years.
To be more specific, the secretary called the Worldwide Web, "The Battlefield of the Future", so more stringent efforts in strengthening the U.S.'s online security in cyberspace may be forthcoming.
Panetta believes that the Department of Defense should have a bigger role when it comes to safeguarding American national security on the Information Superhighway.
What's more, the military may get involved in the upcoming cyber war as well, such that it will play a vital role in defending the domestic (U.S.-based) part of the Internet so that they could deal with attacks against commercial institutions. 
Such a plan has been deemed controversial by some sectors in the business field, however.
Nevertheless, the defense secretary appears hell-bent on assembling business leaders to his side in order to help him deal with what he believes is an impending War on Terror in the Virtual Realm.
The whole thing sounds like a legitimate concern, especially considering the fact that more and more businesses are depending on Internet promotions and ecommerce to make a profit.
This future that the Secretary of Defense envisions could come about during the time when all transactions have become Internet-based in nature.
At any rate, recent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on U.S. financial establishments have spread chaos across their websites at a disconcerting speed.
Also, the secretary is further troubled by the "Shamoon" malware attack that disrupted operations of the Saudi Aramco Company.