And now the bad news: Growth in cyber weaponry expected to skyrocket

( According to a recently released survey, the threat of cyber terrorism is a top fear among Americans, coming in at the No. 2 spot behind government corruption.

There’s a good reason for that: It’s because the threat is real, and it’s getting even more real by the month.

As reported by MarketWatch, spending on cyberwarfare technology by governments is increasing as more emphasis is being put on competing in cyberspace, given that any information technology system connected to the Internet is subject to attack.

“Cyber weapons are advanced cyber warfare tools that are powered with weaponized zero-day exploits or vulnerabilities in software primarily aimed for launching an effective cyber-attack on enemy networks,” reports MarketWatch. “Hackers and cyber professionals are increasingly focused on developing cyber capabilities to infiltrate into enemy networks in order to violate confidentiality of the target. Additionally, cyber weapons are capable of data theft, espionage, and destruction of equipment and other critical systems such as industrial control system and national defense system.”

As such, financial analysts anticipate that cyber weapon markets will only grow in the mid- to long-term forecast periods, as governments increase their investments in cyber tools.

Also fueling that growth is investment in cyber defense and security by intelligence agencies, governments and the private sector as businesses scramble to make up for cyber vulnerabilities in a rapidly changing threat environment.

Traditional arms manufacturers like BAE Systems, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are also expected to feed the growth in cyberwarfare markets as they ramp up research and development of cyber systems that are both offensive and defensive in nature.

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“Demand for advanced cyber warfare techniques is further fueling the growth of this market,” MarketWatch reported.

As previously reported, researchers have discovered that most private firms in the U.S. and elsewhere have largely neglected cyber security, but that is changing given the rapid advances in related technologies.

That was the conclusion of well-known cyber security researcher Brian Krebs, who recently presented a fascinatingly scary seminar regarding the current state of cyber crime at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Fla.

Meanwhile, nations that cannot match the United States militarily are also investing heavily in cyber. That includes China, which is pouring money into the development of specialized cyberwarfare units whose objective in times of crisis would be to penetrate and control or destroy U.S. systems.

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