US Cybersecurity agency aims at boosting election security

DORAL, FL – The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency will launch a program to boost election security and accuracy ahead of this year’s presidential elections and following several threats nationwide. Its purpose is to provide reassurance to voters. 

The agency hopes to increase support to state and local election officials that have suffered a wide ray of threats such as potential cyberattacks waged by foreign governments, criminal ransomware gangs attacking computer systems and constant election misinformation prompting election officials to be harassed, undermining public confidence. 

Specifically in the past weeks, AI-generated robocalls emerged in New Hampshire ahead of the state’s presidential primary, while a cyberattack targeted the local government in Fulton County, Georgia.

Concerns this year come from prospects of hostile governments abroad attacking election systems. Eric Goldstein, CISA’s executive assistant director for cybersecurity, described “a really difficult cybersecurity environment” that includes “extraordinary advances by nation-state adversaries China, Russia, Iran, North Korea,” AP reported.

The program will include 10 new hires with extensive election experience and the team will focus solely on elections. They will be based across the country and join other staff that have been conducting cyber and physical security reviews for election offices on demand. 

Members of the team on election security include the former state election director in Texas, Keith Ingram; the former chief information officer for the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, Spencer Wood; and the former elections supervisor in Escambia County, Florida, David Stafford.

Officials with the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are introducing the program this week to the National Association of State Election Directors and National Association of Secretaries of State meeting in Washington D.C. 


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