Officials are on alert for election threats ahead of Election Day in states like Virginia on Tuesday, a year after the controversial 2020 presidential election.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a statement on Monday announcing that it would establish an electoral situation knowledge room to monitor elections in more than 30 states.
This space will serve to coordinate electoral security efforts between CISA, the key agency responsible for electoral security, and election officials at the state and local levels, along with representatives from political organizations and other private sector groups.
CISA emphasized on Monday that while preparations were underway to monitor any security issues, there are currently “no specific and credible threat to the electoral infrastructure. “
“CISA has supported state and local election officials to help protect their systems and fend off malicious actors who seek to disrupt our democratic process and interfere in our elections,” said Geoff Hale, director of CISA’s Election Security Initiative, in a statement Monday. “We look forward to continuing this work in collaboration with our electoral partners to ensure the security and resilience of the elections in 2021 and beyond.”
The agency is also using its Page “rumor control” to help reject disinformation and electoral disinformation. The page was created by the agency before the 2020 presidential elections and was a key factor behind President TrumpDonald Trump: Impressive Poll Gives Gloomy View of Burgeoning Anti-Democratic Opinions Southwest Investigation Report Pilot Said ‘Let’s Brandon’ On Flight Texas Police Denied Requests to Escort Biden’s Bus Surrounded by Trump Supporters – Report PLUSThe decision to fire former CISA Director Christopher Krebs in the days following the election, as CISA and election officials sought to emphasize the accuracy of the 2020 election results.
CISA Director Jen Easterly encouraged voters to visit the site, tweeting on monday that “would help discredit erroneous, misinformative and bad electoral security information that aims to undermine public confidence in the electoral process.”
In Virginia, which is likely to be the most-watched state on Tuesday due to its disputed gubernatorial race, officials are also confident ahead of Election Day.
Chris Piper, the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, wrote a opinion piece posted on saturday for The Richmond Times-Dispatch, highlighting the security of the process and detailing the methods used to secure the machines used in the voting process.
“Voting is your right,” Piper wrote. “And it is our privilege and duty to assure you that your ballot was accurately counted and produced a reliable and trustworthy result. You can count on your defenders of democracy ”.
Efforts to secure US elections have intensified increasingly in the years since the 2016 presidential election, when Russian actors attacked voting infrastructure in all 50 states and launched a disinformation campaign ahead of Election Day with the objective of skewing the elections in favor of the now former president. Triumph.
In the years since then, both domestic and foreign actors have continued to use social media to spread disinformation, including Iran and Russia ahead of last year’s presidential elections, and more states have focused on improving the cybersecurity of electoral infrastructure.
Jon Ford, managing director of the Mandiant cybersecurity group, said in a event organized by the Electoral Assistance Commission last week that threats both in information and in cyber spaces continued to increase.
He noted particular concerns around hackers targeting operational technology to use ransomware attacks to disrupt elections, noting that both Russia and China remain extremely active in the disinformation space.
“Protecting our electoral infrastructure and how we see threats apply to that is certainly the most important thing to us,” Ford said.