Gates Warns of Cyberterror Attacks

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HOUSTON - Former CIA Director Robert Gates said today at a conference in Houston that cyberterrorism could be the most devastating weapon of mass destruction yet. And he says it could cripple the US economy.

Gates became Texas A&M University's president in 2002, about a decade after he left the CIA. He cited as an example the "love bug" virus that overwhelmed computer systems around the world in 2000.

Gates said at the conference at Rice University that the CIA and National Security Agency conducted an exercise six years ago, assigning 50 computer specialists to see how hard it would be to shut down the nation's electric grid.

He said it took only two days for the group to put itself in a position to do so. Gates compared the war on terrorism to the Cold War and warned there is a long battle ahead.