Which country is most feared as a cyber threat? Guess again.
In this country, we are getting used to blaming China for high-profile intrusions, for everything from hacking into power grids and Defense Department computers to stealing proprietary information from high-tech companies. And if it isn’t China, it’s North Korea. And don’t forget the Russian mafia, which is behind so much cyber crime.
But according to a recent study commissioned by McAfee, the United States is the most feared nation in the world when it comes to cyberattacks. Six hundred information technology and security executives in 14 countries were surveyed for the study. The results varied widely by country, but overall, we beat out China and Russia for first place. Not surprisingly, we were the most feared nation in China and Russia, but respondents in Brazil, Spain and Mexico also put the United States at the top.
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Stewart Baker, lead author of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ report, said the survey did not ask why, and there is no indication whether the response is based on actual attacks observed in those countries or broader concerns. The fact that DOD is establishing a cyber command with offensive and defensive capabilities might have something to do with it.
William Jackson is a senior writer of GCN and the author of the CyberEye blog.