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Study Reveals Who/What People Would Want to Hack, If They Could

calendarMay 25, 2021

Is hacking acceptable? Nearly 4 in 10 Americans think so, but only if it helps others for no monetary gain, or exposes the truth

A new hacking advocacy survey from NordVPN asked 1,007 consumers whether they thought hacking was an acceptable practice, and who they would hack if they could. Results from the survey revealed that almost 4 in 10 Americans (37%) think hacking is acceptable, but only if it helps others for no monetary gain (21%), or exposes the truth (16%).

Nearly half of Americans (42%) would hack into someone’s computer that they know but dislike if given the chance. Another 23% would like to hack their spouse, 22% would hack their children, 14% said their boss, 12% their siblings, 11% said their parents or their doctor, 10% said their neighbors and 8% would hack their coworkers.

While hacking someone we know may peak our personal interests, when it comes to hacking into computers, there was much more interest in hacking high profile public figures, as 36% of American’s wish they could hack into Donald Trump’s computer, followed by 30% that want to hack Bill Gates’ computer. The full list of who they want to hack includes:
  • 36% – Donald Trump
  • 30% – Bill Gates
  • 26% – Mark Zuckerberg
  • 23% – Barack Obama
  • 20% – Vladimir Putin
  • 19% – Elon Musk
  • 17% – Taylor Swift
  • 16% – Oprah Winfrey
  • 11% – Tiger Woods
  • 10% – Pope Francis
The survey also asked Americans which databases they would want to hack into, with Big Tech and government entities as the top targets, the full list reveals these databases would be worth their efforts to breach, and learn:
  • 33% – Facebook
  • 31% – Area 51
  • 29% – Amazon
  • 28% – Google
  • 26% – FBI
  • 24% – The White House
  • 21% – Apple
  • 20% – CIA
  • 18% – The Pentagon
  • 14% – Twitter

“When real hackers set out to attack individuals or organizations, they have a broad selection of hacking techniques, tools, and technical expertise at their disposal. By learning about the most common hacking methods and arming yourself with the right tools, internet users can identify vulnerabilities and stop attackers in their tracks,” said Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “ If anyone really wants to keep stay secure online, they can fight fire with fire by using a VPN, which encrypts all traffic through mobile devices, keeping the hackers out of your business.”


Propeller conducted its national online survey for NordVPN of 1,007 U.S. adults between April 21-23, 2021. Survey responses were nationally representative of the U.S. population for age, gender, region and ethnicity. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

About NordVPN:

NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider, used by over 14 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy. For more information: