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Former CIA Counterintelligence Director Names the 'Big Threat' Facing America That Could 'Paralyze the Country

"'It’s a nightmare in my mind."

Image source: Getty Images/Saul Loeb/AFP

Former CIA director of counterintelligence Barry Royden has warned of the next "big threat" facing America that could potentially "paralyze the country:" cyberterrorism.

CIA Image source: Getty Images/Saul Loeb/AFP

"The trouble is, it’s extremely difficult, in fact, it’s impossible. Everyone is connected to everyone, and as long as you’re connected you’re vulnerable," Royden said, Business Insider reported.

While the former spy acknowledged that there are steps the government and private companies currently take to prevent cyberterrorism attacks, such as installing firewalls, the defense mechanisms are "potentially defeat-able."

"So it’s a nightmare in my mind," Royden said.

Cyberterrorism attacks could include other governments or groups hacking into American power grids, hospitals or even banking systems, all of which Royden said would cause "economic upheaval" and "paralyze" the country.

The one thing that could be stopping other governments from launching cyberattacks, Royden added, is the fact that the U.S. is capable of launching similar cyberattacks on them.

"So you hope that no one is going to do that but you’re vulnerable," Royden said. "

"These days, I think the cyber world is the big threat."

(H/T: Business Insider)

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