Americans more fearful of cyber attacks: Pew survey

indica News Bureau –


More and more people in several countries, especially in the US, think it is likely that government data, public infrastructure and elections will be targeted by future hacks, a new survey has revealed.


Approximately, eight-in-10 or more in the US say public infrastructure will be damaged, national security information will be accessed, or elections will be tampered with via cyber attack, according to the survey by the Pew Research Center.


Democrats in the US are much more convinced of likely election tampering (87%) than are Republicans (66%), and older Americans are more worried about infrastructure damage, the findings showed.


Nearly nine-in-ten Democrats (87%) say it is likely, compared with 66% of Republicans.


“Democrats are also slightly more likely to worry about hackers obtaining sensitive national security information. But there is no significant difference in views of the likelihood of attacks on public infrastructure,” said the survey.


Across the 26 countries surveyed, nearly half (47 %) say their country is well prepared to handle a major cyber attack, but an equal share disagreed.


“Attitudes vary widely by country. Two-thirds or more in Israel (73%) and Russia (67%), for example, say their nations are ready for a major cyber incident, while fewer than one-in-five Brazilians (16%) and Argentines (9%) say the same.


In the United States, just over half of Americans (53%) think their country is prepared to handle a major cyber attack.


But half or more in some of the world’s largest economies, including Germany and Japan, think they are not ready for cyber attacks.


When it comes to the likelihood of cyber attacks, most say that an attack where sensitive national security information will be accessed is either very or somewhat likely (or volunteer that this has already happened).


In the US, which has been the victim of over 100 major cyber incidents since 2006, more say the country is prepared than unprepared for a major cyber attack.


Europeans are more pessimistic than optimistic about whether their countries can deal with a large-scale cyber hack. France is the only country in the region where more than half say it is well-prepared to deal with a cyber incident.


In some Asian-Pacific nations surveyed, there are doubts about the ability to protect against cyber strikes. Roughly half in Japan (52%), Australia (48%) and South Korea (47%) say their country is not well prepared to handle a major cyber attack.


“National security breaches seen as the most likely form of cyberattack, but worries about infrastructure damage and election tampering abound,” said the survey.

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