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.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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Reader Comments

Thu, Feb 25, 2010

For some, blaming the United States for their problems is the norm, whether justified or not. So when when you take a survey of OPINIONS, you have to be careful what you read into it - especially when you are surveying the problem groups. While the United States does have its share of cyber spys, sabatours, crooks and vandels, its government does not not encourage any of this behavior. The same cannot be said of several other countries. Taking these factors into account, I think the best place to put this survey is in the propaganda file, if not the garbage can.

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