Fearmongering About Cyberwar And Cybersecurity Is Working: American Public Very, Very Afraid
from the for-no-clear-reason dept
Well, it looks like all the fearmongering about hackers shutting down electrical grids and making planes fall from the sky is working. No matter that there’s no evidence of any actual risk, or that the only real issue is if anyone is stupid enough to actually connect such critical infrastructure to the internet (the proper response to which is: take it off the internet), fear is spreading. Of course, this is mostly due to the work of a neat combination of ex-politicians/now lobbyists working for defense contractors who stand to make a ton of money from the panic — enabled by politicians who seem to have no shame in telling scary bedtime stories that have no basis in reality.
But it’s all working. And, by working, I mean scaring the public unnecessarily. As reported by Wired, a new survey from Unisys finds that Americans are more worried about cybersecurity threats than terrorism, and they seem pretty worried about those threats. When asked about which security issues were the highest priority, survey respondents noted:
- Protecting government computer systems against hackers and criminals (74 percent)
- Protecting our electric power grid, water utilities and transportation systems against computer or terrorist attacks (73 percent)
- Homeland security issues such as terrorism (68 percent)
Of course, it’s likely that the vast majority of the American public has absolutely no idea what the actual risk is of any of these things happening. But they are familiar with computers, and there’s been a lot of talk about cybersecurity lately, so “ooooooh, scary!” Now, here’s where the mainstream press could come in and point out the lack of evidence for any real or significant cybersecurity threat and help people realize that they might be best off focusing their attention elsewhere. But talking about planes falling from the sky is much more fun.