A survey by The Pearson Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 9 out of 10 Americans are at least somewhat concerned about hacking, including the use of personal information. Includes financial institutions, government agencies or some utilities. About two-thirds say they are very, very worried.
Nearly three-quarters say the Chinese and Russian governments are major threats to the US government’s cybersecurity, and at least half of Iranians see government and non-government organizations as a threat.
The broad consensus highlights the growing impact of cyber-attacks in an increasingly connected world and could increase efforts by President Biden and lawmakers to force key industries to increase their cyber defenses and hack companies. Impose reporting requirements. The survey comes amid a wave of high-profile ransomware attacks and cyber-espionage campaigns over the past year that have compromised sensitive government records and shut down operations of energy companies, hospitals, schools and others.
“It’s unusual today to find issues in which both Republicans and Democrats see the vast majority as an issue,” said David Street, a senior research scientist at the AP-Nork Center.
Biden has made cybersecurity a major issue in his young administration, and federal lawmakers are considering legislation to strengthen cybersecurity, both public and private.
Michael Daniel, CEO of the Cyber Threat Alliance, and a senior cybersecurity official during the Obama administration said the survey shows that the public is increasingly aware of the dangers posed online by cybersecurity experts over the years. Are emphasizing
“We don’t need to create more awareness,” he said.
Explosions in the last year of ransomware, in which cybercriminals hide an organization’s data and then demand payment to cover it up, have highlighted how extortionist hacker groups are destroying the economy. And endanger life and livelihood.
One of the biggest cyber incidents this year was a ransomware attack in May on the company, which owns the country’s largest fuel pipeline, which caused a gas shortage on the East Coast. A few weeks later, a ransomware attack on the world’s largest meat processing company disrupted production worldwide.
The victims of ransomware attacks ranged from major US agencies and Fortune 500 companies to small companies such as Leonard Township, Maryland, which was one of hundreds of affected organizations around the world when software company Kasia was fired on July 4th. Was infected with ransomware during the week.
“We were very lucky, but it certainly opened our eyes to the fact that it could happen to anyone,” said Laschelle McKay, town administrator. He said Leonard Town’s IT provider was able to restore the city’s network and files after several days.
The criminal syndicates that dominate the ransomware business are mostly Russian-speaking and work with amnesty close to Russia or Russia-affiliated countries. The US government has also blamed Russian spies for a major breach of US government agencies called Solar Winds Hack, hence the name of the US software company whose products were used in the hacking.
China also remained active. In July, the Biden administration formally blamed China for massive hacking of Microsoft Exchange email server software and stressed that criminal hackers affiliated with the Chinese government carried out ransom attacks and other illegal activities. Of cyber operations.
“The number of Chinese cyber actors dwarfs the world,” Rob Joyce, director of cybersecurity at the National Security Agency, told a recent conference. “The elites in this group are really the elites. That’s a lot of law.
Both Russia and China have denied any wrongdoing.
Older people are more likely to see Russia and China as serious threats. The vast majority of adults over the age of 60 say the Russian and Chinese governments are a major threat, but only half of those under the age of 30 agree.
Democrats – 79% – are slightly more likely than Republicans – 70% – to say that the Russian government is a big threat. Former President Donald Trump, a Republican, has routinely rejected Russian aggression. In his first remarks since the discovery of the Solar Winds hack in December, Trump opposed his Secretary of State and other top officials, suggesting without evidence that China was behind the campaign.
The AP-NORC survey of 1,071 adults was conducted September 9-13, using a sample based on the NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Omnibus, designed to represent the U.S. population. The sampling error margin for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.