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Obama makes brief mention of cybersecurity

The president made the reference to cybersecurity and beefing up the nation's protection against cyberattacks during a question from moderator CBS's Bob Schieffer that focused on how to maintain the military's strength in the face of forthcoming cuts to defense spending.

The Obama administration has advocated for Congress to pass legislation aimed at protecting America's critical infrastructure, such as the power grid and water plants, from cyberattacks. While the House passed a series of cybersecurity bills this spring, Senate Republicans blocked a sweeping cybersecurity bill in August that they claimed would tack on additional regulations onto businesses.

With Congress gridlocked, the White House began drafting a cybersecurity executive order aimed at boosting the security of the computer systems and networks that run critical infrastructure. Yet the White House has also maintained that Congress still needs to pass legislation in order to adequately protect the nation from the rising threat of a cyberattack.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he plans to bring cybersecurity legislation to the floor in November after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned in a speech that foreign cyber actors are probing the computer networks of critical infrastructure.