(CNS News) Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned a Senate panel today that America faces “the potential for another Pearl Harbor” launched by enemies who have the capability to wield a cyberattack that would “paralyze this country.”

Panetta made his remarks under questioning by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) during a Department of Defense (DOD) budget hearing held by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

Referring to a potential cyberattack against the United States, Graham asked, “You said something that just kind of went over everybody’s head, I think, that there’s a Pearl Harbor in the making here. You’re talking about shutting down financial systems, releasing chemicals from chemical plants, releasing water from dams, shutting down power systems that can affect the very survival of the nation. What’s the likelihood in the next five years that one of these major events will occur?”