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Study: Americans won"t vote for candidates who approve ransomware payments

Filip TRUȚĂ

August 21, 2019

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Study: Americans won"t vote for candidates who approve ransomware payments

Government officials” decisions related to cybersecurity actively impact voting decisions among Americans, according to a recent study.

Awareness about cyber-security among U.S. residents today so high that Americans are now using this knowledge as a factor in their decision making. New research by The Harris Poll reveals that 64% of registered voters will not vote for candidates who approve of making ransomware payments. The results undoubtedly reflect the public opinion regarding recent ransomware attacks targeting U.S. municipalities.

Ransomware operators have collected more than a million dollars from just two attacks on the Florida cities of Riviera Beach and Lake City. Wanting to see their taxpayer money spent more wisely, 79% of registered voters will now consider candidates” stances on cybersecurity when making future voting decisions, according to the study.

66% of Americans believe that government organizations should never make ransomware payments to cyber criminals, a stance shared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Conference of Mayors alike. As for businesses, 64% of Americans believe they should never make ransomware payments to cyber criminals, period. Asked to elaborate, 86% reasoned that when organizations make ransomware payments, they are encouraging cyber criminals to continue with such attacks.

Furthermore, 70% of respondents agree that when organizations do make ransomware payments to cyber criminals, it is likely because they were left with no other choice. And 1 in 5 Americans have experienced a ransomware attack on a personal and/or work device. Of those who experienced an attack on a work device, 46% say their company paid the ransom.

Finally, the survey also revealed that Americans would support a federal income tax to hep fund government efforts to defend against cyber-attacks.

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