Poll: Almost Half of Americans View Cyberattack as Act of War

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 01:03 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Almost half of Americans believe that a cyberattack on the United States by another country is an act of war, and a similar proportion believe a cyberattack poses a greater economic threat to the country than a traditional military attack.

According to a Rasmussen Reports survey conducted May 19-20 of 1,000 likely voters, 46 percent of people believe a major cyberattack on the United States by another country should be viewed as an act of war, but notably, the figures are lower than a year ago when 55 percent shared that opinion.

At the same time, in the current survey, 28 percent do not see a cyberattack as an act of war, while 26 percent say they are not sure.

The survey also found that 45 percent of voters think a cyberattack by a foreign state poses a greater economic threat than traditional warfare. That figure was unchanged since a survey last year.

Nevertheless, 26 percent of people still regard a traditional military attack as the greater threat, while 29 percent are not sure.

The poll also found that 85 percent of respondents are at least somewhat concerned about the vulnerability of America's computer infrastructure to a cyberattack, including 43 percent who are very concerned. Just 13 percent are not very, or not at all, concerned about such an attack.

Meanwhile, only 12 percent of people feel it is possible to make any computer system completely safe from a cyberattack. Sixty-three percent think that level of security is not possible, while 25 percent are not sure, in keeping with previous surveys.

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