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Russian hacking and The Brady Bunch

Sometimes, watching the media hyperventilate about Russian hacking, you might think you are watching an episode of The Brady Brunch. But instead of Jan annoyingly exclaiming, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” you hear the media chant “Russia, Russia, Russia!”

It really makes me smile.

dwight widaman editor

By Dwight Widaman, Editor

Having grown up watching The Brady Bunch, as an adult when I see it on TV now, I recognize the simple plot lines, the ever-present crisis that is easily tied up in the span of 30 minutes, and, of course, the questionable if not endearing acting.

This morning I read another headline in the news that somehow was able to get “hacking” into the same headline as “Russia.”

Of course, it is a full-blown effort on the part of the FBI and media to keep “Russia” in the news and therefore help Americans not forget the supposed 2016 election meddling. A couple Russian millenials sitting in their parents’ basement placing some ads on Facebook does not a stolen election make.

But I digress.

All these headlines would make you think 120 million Russians are sitting in their flats hacking away with narry a minute to use the bathroom.

Russia MUST be the hot bed of hacking around the world. Forget influencing the election. Those pesky Russians want access to your Facebook account. They just can’t get enough photos of grandkids and cat videos.

Well, I have some good news and some bad news but it doesn’t quite fit into the news narrative being sold on CNN or MSNBC or the FBI.

Russia is a minor player in the world when it comes to hacking. Who should you be worried about, if you should be worried at all?

Try China and then, a close second–your neighbor.

The United States still holds the spot as THE NUMBER TWO HOME to hackers in the world! Did you get that? We’ve seen the enemy and they are us!

Isn’t that a hoot?

Yes, according to the computer security company Symantec and their exhaustive study of from where computer attacks originate, China led the pack, followed by the U.S., then Turkey.

Here are the Top 5 countries where hacking attacks originate. Notice the “real” numbers are not as sensational or sexy as the media or the FBI would have you believe. I mean, Brazil?


1) China 41% of attacks

2) United States 17.12%

3) Turkey 10.24% of attacks

4) Brazil 8.6% of attacks

5) Russia 4.3% of attacks


So in the scheme of things, FOUR times as much hacking originates in our own country than in Russia. Poor Russian hackers cause just half the hacking as Brazil. That’s probably not a headline you are likely to see any time soon. And you’ll probably never read this: America invented hacking.

But the narrative of the evil Russian hacker is pretty enticing for the media. Sadly, it would make for a much better Brady Bunch episode.

That’s my view from the heartland, where common sense reigns.