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A survey of 1,021 “general consumer” adult Americans conducted by Tenable Network Security, a security company working with the Department of Defense, found that 92 percent believe public utilities, like electricity and water, are vulnerable to malware attacks. And, 94 percent thought the president should have the same authority to respond to cyberattacks as he does to any other type of attack on Americans.
The survey comes on the heels of President Obama’s executive order on cybersecurity and the reintroduction to the House of Representatives of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
Mashable.com said, “The majority of those surveyed (37%) are most concerned about disruptions to utilities. Interestingly, though, the sector that respondents fear is the next most vulnerable (21%) is communications (including Internet and telephone), and not the transportation sector (only 7% of Americans are most worried about it). This is the case even though the former Obama cybersecurity czar recently singled out transportation as one of his main concerns at a Kaspersky Lab event in New York.” With TSA screenings creating long lines and the occasional pat-down of a child or wheelchair-bound grandmother at airport check-ins, potholes undermining city streets across the country, bridges in need of retrofitting, and cruise ships that would never be permitted under the Constitution because they engendered cruel and unusual punishment, maybe people don’t think things can get much worse. Maybe.