According to a poll, most Americans are concerned about cyberattacks on U.S. computers. They also view China and Russia major threats.
The Pearson Institute and The Associated Press -NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 9 out of 10 Americans are at least slightly concerned about hacking. This could include their financial institutions or utilities. Two-thirds of respondents say they are extremely or very concerned.
Nearly three quarters of Americans believe that the Chinese and Russian governments pose a threat to cybersecurity. At least half consider the Iranian government and other non-governmental bodies to be threatening.
This broad consensus points out the increasing impact of cyberattacks on an increasingly connected world. It could help President Joe Biden’s efforts to push critical industries to improve their cyber defenses, and impose reporting requirements to companies that are hacked. This poll is being conducted amid high-profile ransomware and cyber espionage attacks that have targeted sensitive government records. These attacks have led to the closure of schools, hospitals, and energy companies.
David Sterrett (a senior research scientist at the AP-NORC Center) stated that it is not common nowadays to find issues that both majorities of Republicans or Democrats consider a problem.
Biden made cybersecurity a priority in his new administration. Federal lawmakers are currently considering legislation to strengthen both private and public cyber defenses.
Michael Daniel, Cyber Threat Alliance CEO and an ex-top cybersecurity official under the Obama administration, stated that the poll showed that the public is well aware of the online threats that have been highlighted by cybersecurity experts for many years.
He said, “We don’t need to do much more awareness raising.”
Ransomware is a form of cybercriminals that encrypt data in an organization and demand payment in order to unlock it. This has highlighted how hackers gangs can disrupt the economy and put people’s lives at risk.
Ransomware attacks on the company which owns the country’s largest fuel pipe resulted in severe gas shortages across the East Coast. This was one of the most serious cyber incidents this year. A ransomware attack on the largest meat processing company in the country caused production disruptions around the world. This ransomware attack was carried out a few weeks later.
“We ended being very fortunate, but it definitely opened up our eyes that anyone could experience it,” Laschelle McKay said. She stated that Leonardtown’s I.T. After several days, the provider was able restore the network and files in Leonardtown.
Russian-speaking criminal syndicates dominate ransomware and operate out of Russia or other countries that are allied to Russia with almost impunity. U.S. officials also blame Russian spies in a major hack of U.S. government agencies, known as the SolarWinds Hack. This hack is named after the U.S.-based software company that was used in the hacking.
China has been also active. China has also been active.
Rob Joyce, director of cybersecurity at National Security Agency, stated that the number of Chinese cyber-agents is greater than the rest of the world. “The elite of that group are truly elite. It’s a law that large numbers are required.
Both Russia and China deny any wrongdoing.
Russia and China are seen as more serious threats by older adults. While the majority of people over 60 agree that the Russian and Chinese governments pose a threat, only half of those below 30 agree.
At 79%, Democrats are more likely than Republicans (at 70%) to consider the Russian government a serious threat. Trump was a Republican and has repeatedly downplayed Russian aggression. After the December SolarWinds hack was revealed, Trump made his first remarks contradicting his secretary of state and other high-ranking officials. He suggested that China was behind it without any evidence.