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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  November 8, 2009 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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jim: well, they are going on the run it. jacobs bursting ahead, and the chargers close in on him at the four. well, -- phil: yes. i was wrong. but they can take them close to two minutes. jim: they cannot run it all the way down to the two minute warning stand play clock at 25 right now. ifer those of you expecting to see "60 minutes," you're watching the nfl on cbs, chargers-giants, jim nantz and phil simms on-site. "60 minutes" featuring a interview with andre agassi will be seen in its entirety at the normal time except on the east coast. tynes, true. 20-14 with 2:07.
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phil: well, they played the percentages. tom coughlin is saying you cannot drive this football down the field against our pass rush with only two points in score a touchdown. jim: let's remember for the giants, who find themselves behind the eagles and coubs who are going to meet tonight just down the way in philadelphia. such a big game for the giants' side going into their bye week trying to end this losing streak of three. meanwhile out west, chargers behind the broncos. they will be hosting pittsburgh tomorrow night. san diego, we're so used to them getting off to a slow start. last week they were 4-8. norv in his two years there winning the division there each year going to the a.f.c. title
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game the first year then the divisional round last year, knocking out the wild card round. peyton manning and the colts. phil: well, all the injuries norv turner has had on both sides of the ball, what they've done, jim is gotten over it and re-established themselves for what they are going to be the rest of the year. jim: think about this win turnover colts. the ball goes right over sproles' head. the colts have won nine straight games. lose to the chargers on a first-possession game. now have won eight straight at the start of this year, so 17-18 with the loss being in the playoffs to this chargers bunch. for the very first time, the giants had that awkward, unusual, "what happened" kind of moment.
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philip rivers, can he direct a game-winning drive on the road? they've got to snap it before the two minute warning. gates. ahead to the 29. chargers offense, giants defense, it will come down to the wire at the madeo lands. ed! to celebrate subway continuing their famous five-dollar footlong, i thought it'd be nice if we all sang the five-dollar footlong song. - ( plays note ) - ( singing in perfect pitch ) ♪ five ♪ five dollar five-dollar footlong ♪ - ♪ lo-o-o-ong - ♪ it's g-g-going strong ♪ going strong ( extends note ) ( laughing ) celebrate with our newest $5 footlong -- buffalo chicken. the spiciest deal around. get yours, just $5! jared: subway! both: eat fresh!
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[thecaptioning on this program is provided as an independent service of the national captioning institute, inc., which is solely responsible for the accurate and complete transcription of program content. cbs, its parent and affiliated companies, and their respective agents and divisions are not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of any transcription or for any errors completeness of any transcription or for any errors in transcription.] [captioning made possible by cbs sports, a division of cbs broadcasting, inc.] [captioning made possible by cbs sports, a division of cbs jim: rivers, dive and grab, good for a first. naanee for five.
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remember san diego with one time-out. ball was deflected at the line. a flag is thrown. it was in fact deflected, and i would think that would negate any interference call on this flag. phil: that's right. jim: robbins may have gotten a fingertip on it. phil: giants deflected quite a few passes last week against the eagles. referee: holding, number 52, defense, five yard penalty. jim: interference with boley who looked like he might not be able to return but back out there. phil: that's a whole different problem for the defense. holding, it doesn't matter. jim: here's the hold. giants over 100 yards in the game for penalties.
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nine for 104. at the 39. down sideline. and a battle for it. incomplete. floyd and bruce johnson. floyd has a big height advantage over johnson, but johnson twice today has fleached and knocked it away. phil: he has. philip rivers picks the right guy to throw to. it's close. but good timing. boy, nice job. i didn't even notice this will in a replay, turns around and looks for the football and actually got his hands on it. that ball could have been thrown about five yards farther down the field. jim: on a second down, rivers
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in stride has another first. that's floyd and again with johnson defending. phil: i just like when the giants push the pocket and when they blitz they are giving them that opportunity and putting pressures on the d.b.'s to make that tacklal. jim: deserveed the time-out. rivers turnover head of gates. rouse will had a play on the pick. -- rouse almost had a play on the pick. michaelal boley against antonio gates. philip rivers just throws it too hard. jim: gates, fighting for it.
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gets the first down inside the 40. still holding on to that time-out. at 50 seconds. a giant down about 20 yards behind, finally the officials see it. it's justin tuck. had so shoulder issues. -- had some shoulder issues. they'll charge the giants a time-out on the injury. phil: last play, antonio gates, a little blitz by the giants. he catches it. knows where the first down marker is and gets it -- good job by antonio gates. and justin tuck not sure what happened. not sure what happened to him
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as he was running off the field. jim: you think about how crucial these 50 seconds will be. we're o'neal at about midpoint of the season but now you start to get the chatter going about playoffs and is this team for real? jim: on the giants side, if they were to lose, devastating for them. there's been a lot of talk that this game, it's like a playoff game for this team, and they'll talk about it openly. phil: we talked about that at the start of the game that tom coughlin said it. it was. and it's had that atmosphere. that's for sure. jim: 50 seconds. chargers with one time-out. and they do something here? sproles in the middle of the field down to the 18-yard line. oh, that was a terrific play
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call. phil: the giants, everybody man-to-man, and that is almost impossible to cover, darren sproles when he comes out of the backfield. jim: that's a 21-yard explosion there for sproles. 28 seconds. rivers. heaves it to the end zone. open! touchdown, san diego! right down the field! 80 yards. ending with an 18-yard touchdown pass. rivers jots all the way back down to his own 20. phil: took everything philip rivers had not to run to the giants bench. he was thinking about it. but what a throw, anticipating. norv turner did not call the time-out. he did not let the giants regroup on defense. they come up with a different plan.
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jim: they get 244 and the lead. phil: boy tom coughlin says coming into the game, our stars have to make plays to win it. how about vincent jackson? got some space, takes up the field, nice move, the ball's in the air. there's nothing corey webster the can do. jim: his second touchdown catch of the game. they go 80 yards in a minute and 46 seconds and never even use that one time-out. norv who has quite a history here as a redskins head coach and dallas cowboy offensive coordinator reallyished the chance to come back to this stadium one more time. phil: that's what he was doing all week to his players, how lucky you are to come here, the nfl, all the big games he has seen here in this stadium. no field goals, guys, he's
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telling merriman. jim: i tell you another one norv turner was here for was anderson when he was on the rams staff. said one of his favorite memories in the nfl business for him. ended the 80-yard drive. hixon. can he get some room? hixon slides off the first hit then brought down at the 29 with 15 seconds. giants have two time-outs. phil: if it goes well, they have maybe three plays. that's if one of them can be caught and get out of bounds. jim: can they give lawrence tynes any chance at all? time to trying to beat the chargers when he was with the
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kansas city chiefs but manning first must come up with a couple of big pass plays. at least one. there's one down the field and it's defended. knocked down. gregory. knocks it down. steve smith was the target. now with 10 seconds. phil: well, if you're a charger defender why would you even look at a receiver in front of you that is short? so that's a good job. two people converging to the football once it's thrown. jim: second and 10. never gets it. and you go back and -- they are going to be saying first and goal at the 4, failed to score a touchdown on that last drive starting from the 4. had the hold call. ran it on third down.
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rivers saying come on, one more. phil: well, jim, they'll be second-guessed for the strategy after they got the philip rivers interception. hard to second guess that situation. play some odds. the game situation. your defense is playing well. jim: merriman is chasing manning and it's going to end right there. shawne merriman who was a part of that trade between the giants and chargers eli and rivers. he came in with the draft pick, so kaeding, that closes it out. san diego with a huge win. a third straight victory for the chargers, who are now 5-3 and at any giants with a four-game losing streak. a month worth of dispair with a week extra to think about it. jim: rivers takes them down the
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field, 08 yards for the winner. coming up next, "60 minutes" followed by the amazing race and cold case. for phil simms this is jim nantz saying so long from east rutherford, the chargers come east, pull off a big victory at the meadowlands, 21-20. you've been watching the nfl on the meadowlands, 21-20. you've been watching the nfl on cbs. ♪ tell me who's watching. ♪ i always feel like somebody's watching me. ♪ (announcer) it's right here. it's easy.
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captioning funded by cbs and ford-- built for the road ahead. we know that cyber intruders have probed our electrical grid and that in other countries cyber attacks have plunged
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entire cities into darkness. president obama didn't say which country had been plunged into darkness by computer hackers, but we found out it was brazil. >> we also found out that hackers had been infiltrating everything from our defense networks to the financial system. bank robbers are stealing more money with computers than they are with guns. there are thousands of attempted attacks every single day, tens of thousands of attacks. >> you write that one day, quote, i will look an interviewer right in the eye and tell him or her the unvarnished truth. is this that day? >> it is. it is. i have to call it like it is and hating tennis was a deep part of my life for a long, long time. >> hating tennis is only part of andre agassi's story. in his new book, he reveals how he turned to the drug crystal meth at the lowest point in his
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life. >> my decision was why not? can't feel any worse. i am steve kroft. i am lesley stahl. >> i am scott pelley. i am bob simon. >> i am morley safer. >> i am a indicate at this couric, those stories and andy rooney tonight on 60 minutes. smile in aisle 14? a long-awaited journey in aisle 10? yeah. because when you save money on the little things, it adds up to life's more amazing things. walmart saves the average family $3,100 a year no matter where you shop. what will you do with your savings? save money. live better. walmart. to earn cash back. talk about simple.
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to avoid long term injury seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away. announcer: cialis for daily use or 36-hour cialis. ask your doctor if cialis is right for you, so when the moment is right, you can be ready. >> kroft: nothing has ever changed the world as quickly as the internet has. less than a decade ago, we went down to the pentagon to do a story on something called information warfare, or "cyber war" as some people called it.
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it involved using computers and the internet as weapons. much of it was still theory, but we were told that before too long it might be possible for a hacker with a computer to disable critical infrastructure in a major city and disrupt essential services: to steal millions of dollars from banks all over the world; infiltrate defense systems; extort millions from public companies; and even sabotage our weapons systems. today it's not only possible, all of that has actually happened, plus a lot more we don't even know about. it's why president obama has made cyber war defense a top national priority and why some people are already saying that the next big war is less likely to begin with a bang than a blackout. >> mike mcconnell: can you imagine your life without electric power? >> kroft: until february of this year, retired admiral mike mcconnell was the nation's top spy. as chief of national intelligence he oversaw the central intelligence agency, the defense intelligence agency and
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the national security agency. few people know as much about cyber warfare and our dependency on the power grid and the computer networks that deliver our oil and gas, pump and purify our water, keep track of our money and operate our transportation systems. >> mcconnell: if i were an attacker and i wanted to do strategic damage to the united states, i would either take the cold of winter or the heat of summer. i probably would sack electric power on the u.s. east cost, maybe the west coast, and attempt to cause a cascading effect. all of those things are in the art of the possible from a sophisticated attacker. >> kroft: do you believe our adversaries have the capability of bringing down a power grid? >> mcconnell: i do. >> kroft: is the u.s. prepared for such an attack? >> mcconnell: no, the united states is not prepared for such an attack. >> president barack obama: it is now clear this cyber threat is one the most serious economic and national security challenges
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we face as a nation. >> kroft: four months after taking office, president obama made those concerns part of our national defense policy, declaring the country's digital infrastructure a strategic asset and confirming that cyber warfare had moved beyond theory. >> president obama: we know that cyber intruders have probed our electrical grid and that in other countries cyber attacks have plunged entire cities into darkness. >> kroft: president obama didn't say which country had been plunged into darkness, but a half a dozen sources in the military, intelligence, and private security communities have told us the president was referring to brazil. several prominent intelligence sources confirmed that there were a series of cyber attacks in brazil: one north of rio de janiero in january of 2005 that affected three cities and tens of thousands of people, and another much larger event beginning on september 26, 2007. that one, in the state of espirito santo, affected more
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than three million people in dozens of cities over a two-day period, causing major disruptions. in vitoria, the world's largest iron ore producer had seven plants knocked offline, costing the company $7 million. it is not clear who did it or what the motive was. but the people who do these sorts of things are no longer teenagers making mischief. they're now likely to be highly trained soldiers with the chinese army or part of an organized crime group in russia, europe or the americas. >> jim lewis: they can disrupt critical infrastructure, wipe databases. we know they can rob banks. so it's a much bigger and more serious threat. >> kroft: jim lewis is a director at the center for strategic and international studies, and he led a group that prepared a major report on cyber security for president obama. what was it that made the government begin to take this seriously? >> lewis: in 2007 we probably had our electronic pearl harbor. it was an espionage pearl harbor. some unknown foreign power--
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and, honestly, we don't know who it is-- broke into the department of defense, to the department of state, the department of commerce, probably the department of energy, probably nasa. they broke into all of the high- tech agencies, all of the military agencies, and downloaded terabytes of information. >> kroft: terabytes? >> lewis: a terabyte is... it's hard to say. the library of congress, which has millions of volumes, is about 12 terabytes. so we probably lost the equivalent of a library of congress worth of government information in 2007. >> kroft: all stolen by foreign countries? >> lewis: yeah. this was a serious attack, and that's really what made people wake up and say, "hey, we've got to get a grip on this." >> kroft: but since then, there has been an even more serious breach of computer security, which lewis called the most significant incident ever publicly acknowledged by the pentagon. last november, someone was able to get past the firewalls and encryption devices of one of the most sensitive u.s. military computer systems and stay inside for several days.
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>> lewis: this was the centcom network, the command that's fighting our two wars. and some foreign power was able to get into their networks and sit there and see everything they did. >> kroft: what do you mean "sit there"? >> lewis: they could see what the traffic was, they could read documents, they could interfere with things. it was like they were part of the american military command. >> kroft: lewis believes it was done by foreign spies who left corrupted thumbnail drives, or memory sticks, lying around in places where u.s. military personnel were likely to pick them up. as soon as someone inserted one into a centcom computer, a malicious code opened a backdoor for the foreign power to get into the system. so presumably nobody at the pentagon is plugging in... >> lewis: they've banned them. >> kroft: my impression is most people understand that there is a threat out there. i don't think most people understand that there are incidents that are happening. >> lewis: you know, i've been trying to figure out why that is. and some of it is the previous administration didn't want to admit that they had been rolled
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in 2007. there's a disincentive to tell people, "hey, things are going badly." but it doesn't seem to be sinking in. and some of us call it "the death of a thousand cuts." every day a little bit more of our intellectual property, our innovative skills, our military technology is stolen by somebody. and it's like little drops. eventually we'll drown, but every day we don't notice. >> kroft: congress has noticed, allocating $17 billion for a top-secret national cyber- security initiative. and the department of defense has nominated lieutenant general keith alexander, head of the n.s.a., to run a new military command devoted to offensive and defensive cyber war. how much of this are we doing? "we" meaning the united states. >> lewis: we're in the top of the league, you know? the... we're as good as any... >> kroft: so whatever foreign countries are doing to the united states, the united states is doing to them? >> lewis: we're in the top of the league. we are really good. and if you talk to the russians or the chinese, they say, "how can you complain about us when you do exactly the same thing?"
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it's a fair point with one exception: we have more to steal; we have more to lose. we're the place that depends on the internet. we've done the most to take advantage of it. we're the ones who've woven it into our economy, into our national security in ways that they haven't. so we are more vulnerable. >> kroft: even the country's most powerful weapons are targets. so technicians at the sandia national laboratories make their own microchips for nuclear weapons and other sophisticated systems. jim gosler, one of the fathers of cyber war, says most commercial chips are now made abroad and there are concerns that someone overseas could tamper with them. so you're worried about somebody being able to get in and reprogram a nuclear weapon or get inside and put something in there that would make it... >> jim gosler: well, certainly... certainly alter its functionality. >> kroft: what do you mean by "alter its functionality"? >> gosler: such that when the weapon needed to be... to go operational, it wouldn't work.
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>> kroft: have you found microchips that have been altered? >> gosler: we have found microelectronics and electronics embedded in applications that they shouldn't be there. and it's very clear that a foreign intelligence service put them there. >> sean henry: there are thousands of attempted attacks every single day, tens of thousands of attacks. >> kroft: sean henry's job is to police potential targets all over the united states. he is an assistant director of the f.b.i. in charge of the bureau's cyber division. he told us that criminals have used the internet to steal more than $100 million from u.s. banks so far this year, and they did it without ever having to draw a gun or pass a note to a teller. >> kroft: the f.b.i. became famous stopping bank robberies. are there more bank robberies in terms of the amount of money stolen on the internet than there are guys walking into branches with guns? >> henry: absolutely. >> kroft: really? >> henry: yes, yes. i've seen attacks where there's been $10 million lost in one 24- hour period.
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if that had happened in a bank robbery, where people walked in with guns blazing, that would have been headline news all over the world. >> kroft: and the bank probably didn't want it known. >> henry: certainly when there's a network breach, the owners of the network are not keen to have it known that their network was breached because of their concern that it might impact their business. >> kroft: the case henry mentioned didn't involve just one bank, it involved 130, all of them victimized through an international network of a.t.m.s, an international caper that required dozens of participants on three different continents. how did they do it? >> henry: it was a sophisticated operation, clearly organized, where adversaries accessed a computer network, were able to gain information from multiple accounts. they were able to decrypt pin numbers and then taking that data, able to manufacture white plastic that enabled them access to get into a.t.m. accounts. >> kroft: what's white plastic? >> henry: take a piece of plastic that's similar in size and shape and weight to an a.t.m. card.
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>> kroft: they've got the card, they've got the pin number, and they just drained the accounts. >> henry: almost $10 million in a 24-hour period. >> kroft: what cities? >> henry: 49 cities around the world-- in europe, in north america, south america, asia. all over the world. >> kroft: do you have any idea what country these people were from? >> henry: yes. >> kroft: care to share that with me? >> henry: i would not. >> kroft: you would not care to share. >> henry: no. >> kroft: have you caught any of them? >> henry: working on it. >> kroft: another case you have probably not heard anything about involves an extortion plot against the state of virginia. earlier this year, a hacker got into a medical database and stole millions of patient prescription records and then followed it up with a ransom note. the note said, "i have your"-- i can't say that word on television; "stuff," we'll call it-- "in my possession right now." the hacker went on to write, "i've made an encrypted backup and deleted the original. for $10 million i will gladly send along the password." the state of virginia says it
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was eventually able to restore the system. but the stolen information-- including names, social security numbers and prescriptions-- can be used, sold or exploited, according to the f.b.i. did the virginia prescription- monitoring program pay the $10 million? >> henry: i can't discuss that. >> kroft: you say this is an active investigation. i mean, this is a matter of public record. i mean, this actually happened. >> henry: this is an active investigation that we're still involved in, and we are coordinating with the victim. they're cooperating with us, and we're actively involved with them and other state and local law enforcement agencies. >> kroft: so whoever did this is still at large. >> henry: i imagine. >> kroft: as serious as the electronic theft and extortion of hundreds of millions of dollars might seem, they pale in comparison to some of the other possible scenarios that are no longer outside the realm of possibility. they include an assault on the fiber-optic networks that run the world's financial systems. admiral mcconnell, the former
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director of national intelligence, worries about the integrity of america's money supply. i know that people in the audience watching this are going to say, "could somebody steal money out of my bank account or could somebody attack a bank that would wipe out my life savings?" >> mcconnell: and the answer is yes, that's possible, but that is not the major problem. the more insidious issue is what happens when the attacker is not attempting to steal money, but to destroy the process that accounts for money? that's the real issue we have to worry about. >> kroft: to destroy the records. >> mcconnell: it's all record- keeping. it's accountability of the wealth and the movement of that money through the system that had to be reconciled at the speed of light. so if you... if you impact or contaminate the data or destroy the data where you couldn't have reconciliation, you could have cascading impact in the banking system. >> kroft: can you describe the consequences? >> mcconnell: if everybody goes down to take the money out, it's not there. so that's the issue. since banking is based on confidence, what happens when you destroy confidence? >> kroft: one top u.s. intelligence official is on
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record saying that the chinese have already aggressively infiltrated the computer networks of some u.s. banks and are operating inside u.s. electrical grids, mapping out our networks and presumably leaving behind malicious software that could be used to sabotage the systems. can a penetrator, or a perpetrator, leave behind... >> mcconnell: yes. >> kroft: ...little things that will allow them to be there and watch and look... >> mcconnell: yes. >> kroft: and listen and...? >> mcconnell: any successful penetration has the potential for leaving behind a capability. >> kroft: do we believe that there are, that governments have planted code in the power grid? >> mcconnell: steve, i would be shocked if we were in a situation where tools and capabilities and techniques have not been left in u.s. computer and information systems. >> kroft: of all the critical components of the u.s. infrastructure, the power grid is one of the most vulnerable to cyber attack.
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that's because the power grid is run and regulated by private utilities which are unbeholden to government security decrees. here at the sandia national laboratories, department of energy security specialists like john mulder try to hack into computer systems of power and water companies and other sensitive targets in order to figure out the best way to sabotage them. it's all done with the companies' permission in order to identify their vulnerabilities. and this is a graphic demonstration of how they could have destroyed an oil refinery by sending out code that caused a crucial component to overheat. >> john mulder: the first thing you would do is turn it to manual controls so that your automatic controls aren't protecting you. >> kroft: what would be your main target here? >> mulder: the heating element and the recirculator pump. if we could malfunction both of those, we could cause an explosion. >> kroft: how would you do that? >> mulder: the first thing we had to do was actually gain access to the network and that's... we just got that as launch attack. and then we turn up the b.t.u.s, and then we're turning off the recirculator pump.
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there we go. >> kroft: how realistic is this? >> mulder: it's very realistic. >> kroft: but the companies are under no obligation to fix the vulnerabilities, which was graphically demonstrated in a much more realistic fashion at the idaho national labs two years ago in a project called aurora. a group of scientists and engineers at the department of energy facility wanted to see if they could physically blow up and permanently disable a 27-ton power generator using the internet. >> lewis: if you can hack into that control system, you can instruct the machine to tear itself apart. and that's what the aurora test was. and if you've seen the video, it's kind of interesting because the machine starts to shudder. you know, it's clearly shaking, and smoke starts to come out. it... it destroys itself. >> kroft: and what would be the real-world consequences of this? >> lewis: the big generators that we depend on for electrical power are, one, expensive, two,
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no longer made in the u.s., and, three, require a lead time of three or four months to order them. so it's not like if we break one, we can go down to the hardware store and get a replacement. if somebody really thought about this, they could knock a generator out, they could knock a power plant out for months. and that's the real consequence. >> jim langevin: this was the leap from theory to reality. >> kroft: when congressman jim langevin, who chaired a subcommittee on cyber security, heard about it, he called representatives of the nation's electric utilities to washington to find out what they were doing to fix the vulnerability. the committee was told that the problem was being addressed. but that turned out not to be the case. at a subsequent hearing seven months later, langevin's committee members discovered that almost nothing had been done. >> congressman bill pascrell: what do you think we are, a bunch of jerks? >> langevin: basically they lied to congress, and i was outraged. >> kroft: and they admitted lying to congress? >> langevin: they admitted that they misled congress, that they did not give accurate testimony.
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and they subsequently had to retract the testimony. >> kroft: have they made any progress since you caught them out in this lie? >> langevin: no, not sufficiently. the private sector has different priorities than we do in providing security. their, in a sense, bottom line is about profits. and we need to change that. we need to change their motivation so that when we see a vulnerability like this we can require them to fix it. >> kroft: langevin and others have introduced legislation to that would do just that. >> langevin: i look at this as like a pre-9/11 moment, where we identify a problem, we identify a threat, we know it exists, we know it's real, and we don't move quickly enough to fix the problem. >> mcconnell: and what i'm worried about is, because of so many competing priorities and so many issues that we have to deal with, we won't get... we will not get focused on this problem until we have some catastrophic event. if the power grid was taken offline in the middle of winter and it caused people to suffer and die, that would galvanize the nation. i hope we don't get there, but it's possible that we will.
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good evening, the house narrowly approved a ten year trillion dollars dollar plus reform bill but senator lindsey graham gram called it dead on arrival in the senate. pushing the total to 120. and a christmas carol wins the weekend box office. i am russ mitchell, cbs news. due to bph, an enlarged prostate. but for many guys, prescription flomax reduces their urinary symptoms due to bph in one week. only your doctor can tell if you have bph, not a more serious condition like prostate cancer. when taking flomax, avoid driving or hazardous tasks until you know how flomax will affect you, as a sudden drop in blood pressure may occur, rarely resulting in fainting. tell your doctor about all medications you take. if considering cataract surgery,
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>> couric: andre agassi's disclosure last week that he took a drug known as crystal meth-- lied about it to authorities and got away with it-- is only one of the startling revelations in the new autobiography from one of the most respected athletes in the world. what agassi has to say about tennis-- the sport that earned him over $100 million-- is also
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surprising. agassi's book covers a life he says he didn't choose and couldn't escape, a life that often made him feel empty and depressed. it's the story of a tennis prodigy whose flamboyant personal style and relentless game changed the sport. and the story of a man who was a star before he was a champion, a champion who fell to the bottom before rising to the top, where he matured to become an elder statesman and philanthropist. we caught up with andre recently in his hometown of las vegas in a place he doesn't visit very often anymore: a tennis court. it's been three years since andre agassi retired from tennis after a 21-year career. >> andre agassi: how'd you like that?! uh! >> couric: one of the longest, most successful, and most colorful in modern sports. >> agassi: sorry, baby. >> couric: we met him on a public tennis court not far from his home in las vegas...
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>> agassi: ah! that shot's one of the reasons i married you, baby. >> couric: ...on a rare tennis outing with his wife steffi graf, one of the greatest female players ever. >> steffi graf: ah! >> couric: is this a little fun for you? it must be, or is it... is it torture? for both steffi and andre, tennis isn't what it used to be. >> graf: it is a little fun. come on! ( laughter ) >> couric: especially for andre. >> agassi: i... i... i like it... i like it when we, you know, when i don't run. >> graf: come on. >> agassi: yeah, it's fun. >> couric: maybe now, but in his candid and surprising new autobiography, agassi reveals that for most of his life he hated tennis with "a dark secret passion," but never let anyone know. >> agassi: i think i was just flat-out scared. just didn't know what people would do if they heard the way i felt. >> couric: you write that one day "i'll look an interviewer right in the eye and tell him, or her, the unvarnished truth." is this that day? >> agassi: it is.
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it is. i have to call it like it is. and hating tennis was a deep part of my... my life for a long, long time. >> couric: from the time he was an infant, his father, mike agassi-- a first generation immigrant from iran-- programmed his youngest child for tennis. taping ping-pong paddles to his hands when he was a toddler, and encouraging him to hit anything in his path. >> well, there you see a youngster, andre agassi... >> couric: by the age of six, he was practicing four to five hours a day. your dad had a burning desire to have you be the number one tennis player in the world. what drove him to drive you so hard? >> agassi: well, i think he drove me hard because he drove himself hard. and tennis was a passion that he had from when he was a little boy himself. and he saw it as the quickest road to the american dream for his kids. something that, you know, he... he wanted for his family.
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>> andre, how do you like the game of tennis? >> agassi: fine. >> couric: but according to the book, that's not how he felt. he wanted to quit, but was afraid to tell his father, who he calls "pops." did you ever look at your dad and say, "pops, i hate this, i hate it so much. please don't make me do it"? >> agassi: no. i needed to do it for the family. possibly an unnecessary burden for a child. but one that i definitely... i definitely carried. >> couric: what do you think he would have done if you had said that to him? >> agassi: "you don't have to love it. we're... you're going to do it. this is what we do. this is what you're going to do. you're born to be a tennis player. you're going to be the best in the world. and that's the end of it." >> couric: being the best meant hitting the road, traveling to tournaments every weekend, and when he wasn't, he was taking on a ferocious ball machine andre nicknamed the dragon. >> agassi: it was really scary, especially to a seven-year-old.
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>> couric: shooting tennis balls at a 110 miles an hour to a seven-year-old boy. >> agassi: 110 miles an hour, because my dad put a souped-up engine in it. it... we didn't have ball machines that did... that hit the ball that hard back then. >> couric: he was a maniac. >> agassi: he was a mad scientist, as well. >> couric: was it at that age you decided, "i hate tennis"? >> agassi: it always came with a level of anxiety. it always came with a level of pressure. none of it really made sense to me. so i... i don't ever remember really not hating it. >> couric: he describes his father as prone to fits of rage, so obsessed with tennis he thought school actually got in the way. what was your father's attitude towards school and education? >> agassi: unnecessary. unnecessary. takes up too much of the day, because we should be hitting tennis balls. we could literally be driving to school, and he could strike a deal with us to turn the car around as long as we get out
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there and go play additionally. he just never thought... never thought a whole lot of it. and neither did i. >> couric: he was sent to the nick boliterri tennis academy in florida, when he was 14, dropped out of school in the ninth grade, and when andre called his dad and asked him if he should turn pro at 16... >> agassi: he was like, "hello? who am i talking to? what are you going to do, be a doctor? you don't go to school. take the money and turn pro." and while he was right and while i probably knew i would make that choice anyhow, i just didn't quite like the way he put it. you know, it just was... >> couric: andre agassi was quickly becoming a tennis heartthrob. his pop star good looks and unconventional outfits got plenty of attention and won him lucrative endorsement deals, like this one. >> image is everything. >> there's the passing shot.
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>> couric: but his image, he says now, was all a facade, including his hair. it started to fall out when he was just 17, so he got a hair weave. terrified people would learn the truth about his trademark mane. >> agassi: what this could mean if people found out, or what does it really mean to my endorsement companies? what's it mean to my overall image? what's it mean to me? what's, you know, i was... i was living... i was living a fraud. i mean, i was just living in... in a hell. >> couric: he nearly found out when he finally made it to his first grand slam final at the 1990 french open. >> this is a different agassi that we've seen. >> couric: the night before the unthinkable happened: his hairpiece literally fell apart in the shower, and andre and his brother frantically put it in place with a slew of bobby pins. >> agassi: first time i ever really prayed for anything as it related to a result.
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i was praying not for the wind, but for my hair to stay on. >> couric: were you... ( laughs ) were you afraid it was just going to fly off? >> agassi: scared the heck out of me. i kept envisioning what this would be like if my hair just flew off and landed. like what would i do? would i go over and kill it or would i... would i quickly put it back on? do i take it home and name it? i... i don't... ( laughs ) i don't... i didn't know what i was going to do. i didn't have a plan for what i was going to do, which is why i was trying to move less and less. >> couric: because the last shot, you just sort of stood there? >> agassi: oh, yeah. when the match was over, i had won. >> couric: just because your hair had stayed on? >> agassi: 'cause my hair had stayed on. one of the trials and tribulations of my journey. >> couric: for most of the next two years, he struggled on the court, but then came an unexpected win at wimbledon, his first grand slam victory. his second major win came two years later. his blistering baseline passing
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shots... ( cheers ) ...helped him capture his first u.s. open. it was the beginning of a run of 26 consecutive victories that earned him the number one ranking in the world. agassi was clearly on a roll, a roll he expected to continue a year later at the 1995 u.s. open final. his girlfriend, brooke shields, who had convinced him to shave his head, was there. he lost to pete sampras. >> agassi: i hit a big wall. i lost interest, lost desire, lost inspiration, is what i really lost that day. >> couric: your life really went into a tailspin after that, didn't it? and it lasted quite a while. >> agassi: yeah, i got disinterested in tennis. >> couric: he says he wasn't interested in much of anything for the next couple of years. even his relationship, worrying that he and his future wife were not a good fit. it seems that you really didn't want to be married to brooke
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shields, and yet you did it. >> agassi: you know, i was also in a life that i didn't want to be in. i didn't want to be playing tennis either, you know. so my life was filled with things i didn't want, things i didn't choose, you know. and part of it was an inability to really find a place for... for anything, really. >> couric: according to his book, when his assistant asked him if he wanted to get high and offered him a white powder-- an illegal highly addictive drug called crystal meth-- andre says he was in such a bad way, he agreed. >> agassi: my decision was why not? can't feel any worse. there was a sadness that came with it initially followed by, you know, the energy and a chemically induced reconnection to life. i was looking for anything to make me get off the couch, to make me, you know, reenage in life. >> couric: did you think about the ramifications of doing it while you were doing it? >> agassi: of course not.
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how do you think about that? i knew what i was doing, but tennis wasn't a concern to me because i didn't care about tennis. you know, my own body wasn't really that much of a concern to me, because i didn't think that highly of myself. >> couric: you write that during that summer, i guess, or during the following months, you and your assistant got high a lot. how many times did you do crystal meth, do you think? >> agassi: you know, it was a foggy time in my life for a lot of reasons. the simple answer is i don't know. i did it way too many. >> couric: about? >> agassi: katie, i... i wouldn't be able to put a number on it. what i can tell you is i did it for a good part of 1997, a better part of the year. starting early in the year, and ending deeper into the year, you know. so it was... it was... it was way more than it should've been. >> couric: in his book, he writes that no one close to him
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knew about his drug use. but after he lost in the first round of a tournament in germany, his coach gave him an ultimatum: he needed to quit tennis or start over. he decided to start over. >> agassi: and i... i said, that's what i'm going to do. i'm going to choose this. i don't have to. i can quit right now. my dad's not choosing it. this is my choice and my choice alone. and i made the decision right then and there that i'm going to choose to fight this battle. and i'm going to choose tennis. >> couric: is that the first time in your life you felt it was your choice? >> agassi: yeah. it was the first time in my life.& 27-years-old, ranked 141 in the world, and in a marriage that i shouldn't be in. >> couric: when we come back, instead of getting better for andre, things were about to get worse. ♪
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