There's a fresh undercurrent of worry among security experts that the U.S. payments infrastructure is a prime target for nation-state attackers.

The payments network is an alluring target because while an attack on it could wreak a lot of havoc, it wouldn't necessarily trigger a military response from the U.S. government. It wouldn't be considered as threatening as an attack on our electric or communications grids, for instance. And the network itself is fragmented, with widely varying levels of security at each point.

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