While America waits with baited breath over the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, cybersecurity officials have been bracing themselves for an onslaught of cyber attacks. The good news is that for now, there seems to have been no interference from cybercriminals on Election Day. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have reported that all fifty states were in the clear as of yesterday.
But just because there’s been no glaring activity from hackers now, doesn’t mean things will stay that way. In the months leading up to the election, hackers from other countries (Russia, China, Iran) have been trying to interfere with the United States election. This is reminiscent of what happened during the 2016 election, where Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had campaign emails leaked via Russian hackers.
Cyber security officials are still on the lookout for campaigns or activity on social media that undermine the current ballot count. With online disinformation at an all time high, it’s no wonder cyber professionals are concerned.
Mail in ballots and absentee ballots still need to be counted in a variety of states, which leaves a window of opportunity for hackers to act. According to Microsoft, Russian hackers are targeting more than 200 organizations across the U.S., ones who are tied to both Republicans and Democrats. A CISA official warns people to be patient, skeptical, and not share things over social media that are unverified.
While a few voting machine flaws here and there occurred yesterday, such as software glitches and a hand-sanitizer ballot jam, none of these issues impacted the overall vote tally. While delays tend to happen in every election, for now, none of them seem overly suspicious.
Overall it’s recommended to stay patient and stay vigilant when it comes to upcoming information regarding the tallying process and election results. Remember to fact check information you come across before sharing it, lest foreign actors sway public opinion one way or the other.
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Who’s Got Your Data?
Written by Emily M.