The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is holding media briefings throughout the day to cover election security. During the first call at 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, CISA made these general points:
- The US has learned a lot about election security since 2016.
- The threat landscape has been cumbered by Iranian and to a lesser extent Russian actors. The Iranian disinformation efforts were recognized and attributed “within 27 hours.” Russian efforts have been similarly ineffective,
- There’s no evidence that any threat actor has succeeded in altering voter information.
- “Elections are messy; technology fails, and we’re already seeing some resilience in the process.” CISA expects technical problems in some of the thousands of polling places across the US, but these are expected to be part of the usual noise, and not the result of cyberattacks.
- The most probable cyberattacks, should any develop, are from the familiar Iranian playbook: website defacement, distributed denial-of-service, and wiper attacks. At the time of the briefing CISA hadn’t seen any so far today.
- CISA strongly recommends its rumor control site.
A senior CISA official said, “We’re treating today as if it’s halftime.” Since foreign cyber activity is largely taking the form of disinformation aimed at eroding confidence in the elections, CISA expects to remain on high alert until all votes are counted and certified in January.
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