At a glance.
- CISA outlines threats to US elections: lots of disinformation, little actual hacking.
- South Korean firms to stop selling components to Huawei.
- Cost of US rural telcos' replacement of Huawei, ZTE gear put at $1.84 billion.
Election interference: a view from CISA.
US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs sees no serious signs of attempts to hack, in the narrowly technical sense, US voting infrastructure. “The technical stuff on networks, we’re not seeing,” Director Krebs said yesterday during the Billington Cybersecurity Summit, adding, “It gives me a little bit of confidence.” Reuters observes that this would seem to qualify remarks made a few weeks ago by US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, who warned of the likelihood of Chinese attempts against election infrastructure.
CISA has been receiving reports from state and local election officials, and Director Krebs hasn’t seen anything alarming there, at least not in this respect. Disinformation is another matter—DHS and its CISA unit are seeing enough of that.
One possibility Krebs brought up yesterday involved the probability that election results might well take longer to tabulate than the swift results Americans have become accustomed to over the last few decades. “This is probably going to take a little bit longer to do the counting because of the increase in absentee ballots,” the Voice of America quoted him as saying. He made a plea for restraint and circumspection: “Have a little bit of patience. Democracy wasn't made overnight.”
CISA also sponsored a webinar early this afternoon in which it outlined trends in disinformation. Among the more significant of these is the growing tendency of nation-states to outsource the conduct of disinformation campaigns to third parties, especially to public relations firms and other contractors with similar skill sets. This not only affords obfuscation and deniability, but it also gives the governments doing the hiring access to expertise they might well not have in-house.
Sanctions induce suppliers to stop selling to Huawei.
Samsung and SK Hynix intend to stop selling components, including semiconductors, to Huawei. The Verge reports that sales will end on September 15th.
FCC counts the cost of rip-and-replace.
The US Federal Communications Commission has estimated the cost of replacing Huawei and ZTE gear in rural telecommunications infrastructure. Government Computer News says the total bill is expected to come to $1.84 billion, with $1.6 billion of that paid for with Federal funds authorized under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019.