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Chertoff Warns of Cyber Threats to Economy

Never mind trouble with the euro or a slowdown in global growth. Cyber attacks might be one of the largest threats to the U.S. economy, former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff said Thursday on “Fast Money.”

“Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are now dumbfounded at the amount of intellectual property that is being stolen from our country,” he said. “That strikes directly at the ability to create jobs and be competitive internationally.”

Chertoff said he expects legislation next year to combat the growing threat.

One of the challenges is that hackers are operating outside the United States, with most of the more serious attacks coming from Russia and China, he said.

Chertoff described “outsider trading,” in which hackers break into corporate computer systems for information on which to trade.

Ways to guard against such attacks include: Network sensors, traffic-flow monitoring, deep-packet inspection, big-data analytics and cyber forensics, Chertoff said.

Trader Joe Terranova offered a couple of ways to play the sector: ITT and CACI International, which counts on the Pentagon for 80 percent of its revenue.

Pete Najarian said he liked Symantec, as well as the sector in general.

“There’s going to be plenty of dollars spent in this area for sure,” he said.

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Got something to to say? Email fastmoney-web@cnbc.com and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap. If you prefer to comment but not have it published online, email fastmoney@cnbc.com.

Trader disclosure: On Dec. 15, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Finerman owns BAC and AAPL; Adami owns AGU, MSFT, NUE, BTU, C, GS, INTC.; Najarian is long AAPL; Najarian has BAC long calls; Najarian has JPM calls; Najarian has WFC calls; Najarian is long INTC; Najarian is long YHOO; Terranova is long VRTS; Terranova is long IBM; Terranova is long LQD; Terranova is long MUB; Terranova is long EMC; Terranova is long CSCO; Terranova is long AXP; Terranova is long TRLG; Terranova is long SBUX; Terranova is long SWN; Terranova is long SU;

Karen Finerman
Finerman’s firm owns AAPL AND short calls

Finerman’s firm owns JPM and leaps

Finerman’s firm owns IBM and short calls

Finerman owns JPM and leaps

Stephen Weiss
Weiss is long JPM

Weiss is long QCOM

Weiss is long SDS

Weiss is long TWM

Weiss is long WLP

Weiss is long BRCM

Weiss is long HPQ

Weiss is long EUO

Mike Khouw
Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of AAPL

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of BAC

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of C

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of XLF

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of GOOG

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of JPM

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of GDX

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of MS

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of NFLX

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of ORCL

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of GLD

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of XLU

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of TLT

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of GS

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of RIMM

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of FRX

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of THOR

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of WBMD

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of FDX

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of UPS

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of EXPD

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of SBUX

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of NVLS

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of PHM

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of FSLR

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of DECK

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of TRIPV

Cantor Fitzgerald is a market maker in securities of CVX

Dan Dicker
Dicker owns SLB

Dicker owns RIG

Dicker owns APA

Michael Chertoff
No disclosures

Stacy Widlitz
Widlitz owns LULU

Colin Gillis
RESEARCH IN MOTION (RIMM): Investment banking (next 3 months): BGC Financial LP and/or its affiliates, expect to receive, or intend to seek, compensation for investment banking services within the next three months from all of the companies referenced within this report.

Lead or Co-manager: BGC Financial LP and/or its affiliates, has not acted as lead or co-manager in a public offering of equity and/or debt securities for Research in Motion within the last 12 months. BGC Financial LP and/or its affiliates has not received compensation for investment banking services in the last 12 months from Research in Motion.

Taposh Bari
Nike (NKE), VF Corporation (VFC), and Wolverine Worldwide (WWW): As is the case with all Jefferies employees, the analyst(s) responsible for the coverage of the financial instruments discussed in this report receives compensation based in part on the overall performance of the firm, including investment banking income. We seek to update our research as appropriate, but various regulations may prevent us from doing so. Aside from certain industry reports published on a periodic basis, the large majority of reports are published at irregular intervals as appropriate in the analyst's judgment.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
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CACI
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ITT
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SYMC
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