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Aug 8, 2012 3:37 PM by Matt Stafford

Obama may act to stop infrastructure cyberattacks

WASHINGTON (AP) - White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan says the White House may take steps to get U.S. businesses to protect themselves from computer attacks if they are responsible for providing critical services like water or electricity.

Brennan told the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday that President Barack Obama is considering using executive powers to encourage U.S. industry to meet minimum standards to repel such attacks on computer systems by hackers or foreign governments. Senate legislation meant to do the same thing failed last week.

Brennan says the White House is looking at possible additional guidelines or changes in policy, but did not indicate whether such measures would be mandatory or voluntary, encouraged by industry incentives.

The Senate will take another stab at passing the cyber bill in September.

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