Cyber Security Threats For The US Midterm Elections

Cyber security agencies are warning the US government about the increased risk of a cyber threat affecting the November 8th midterm elections for the Senate and Congress. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, are being contested and one third of the 100 seats in the Senate, the upper chamber, are also up for election. 

The outcome will have a profound impact on the direction of the United States leading up to the next Presidential elections and now the government is warning that it is no longer enough cyber and manual security to properly secure ballot boxes and the country's election infrastructure from hacking attempts.

Election officials in the United States have been alerted to protect their voting systems and be vigilant about political violence amid what CISA Director Jen Easterly has called a "very complex threat environment." CISA is the branch of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for securing the US’ cybersecurity infrastructure and coordinating with states on election security. 

Speaking on CBS News Easterly said the agency was issuing information and advice to support state and local election officials protect voting systems and their election infrastructure. "You have cyber threats. You have inside threats. You have rampant disinformation," Easterly said. "And, yes, worryingly, you have threats of harassment, intimidation and violence. against election officials, polling places and voters." 

These comments came after the Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, issued a warning that political candidates, election officials, and the public faced a heightened risk of violence. These fears have been heightened by the recent violent assault on the 82-year-old husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The FBI outlined the cyber threats posed by China and Russia, as well as other non-state actors, and potential physical threats to election officials in jurisdictions across the country and the need to protect election officials, organisations and infrastructure involved in elections from malicious cyber activity. 

FBI:      Reuters:       Mandiant:     Fox News:    Politico:    Axios:       Wired:   

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