Cyber Attacks Top Threat to Nation

Friday, January 10, 2014 @ 02:01 PM gHale

Cyber attacks as the greatest threat to U.S. national security, according to a survey released Monday.

A cyber attack is the single greatest threat, according to 45 percent of respondents in the Defense News Leadership Poll. That response came in almost 20 percent above terrorism, which ranked second.

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The poll, underwritten by United Technologies, surveyed 352 Defense News subscribers, based on job seniority, between Nov. 14 and Nov. 28, 2013. The poll targeted senior employees within the White House, Pentagon, Congress, and the defense industry.

It’s not the first time cyber has ranked at or near the top of a list of security concerns. Seventy percent of Americans called a cyber attack from another country a major threat in a Pew Research Center survey released last month.

Defense Department officials continue to warn about the increasing threat. FBI Director James Comey, Rand Beers, the then-acting secretary for the Homeland Security Department, and Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, each voiced their concerns before Congress last year.

And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-MI, called it the “largest national security threat to the face the U.S. that we are not even close to being prepared to handle as a country.”

Meanwhile, more than half of poll respondents said U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA should have separate leaders, but the Obama administration ruled out such a move last month. Alexander, who will most likely retire later this year, has overseen both agencies since 2010.

Click here to download the survey.

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