Despite Security Concerns, DHS Official Says No Signs Of Successful Election Cybersecurity Attacks
An official from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reportedly said the department had not picked up on any indications of successful election cyberattacks as of early Wednesday morning.
The 2018 midterm election came and passed without any official observations of hacking, according to the DHS, The Hill reported. This, however, doesn’t rule out that such a cyberattack could still be discovered or happen at a later time. (RELATED: Here’s How Trump-Endorsed Candidates Did On Election Night)
“We’ve not seen, or we’re not aware, of any successful cybersecurity-related compromises of election infrastructure,” a DHS official told journalists during a press call.
“At this time we have no indication of compromise to our nation’s election infrastructure that would prevent voting, change vote counts, or distrust the ability to tally votes,” Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said during a Tuesday press conference.
The day before the election, the FBI released a joint statement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the DHS about the security of the midterms. The statement also said that although foreign states continue to push propaganda and division on social media, there is “no indication of compromise” to the election itself.
” … Americans should be aware that foreign actors — and Russia in particular — continue to try to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions through actions intended to sow discord. They can do this by spreading false information about political processes and candidates, lying about their own interference activities, disseminating propaganda on social media, and through other tactics,” the statement says.
The warnings from the joint statement about interference in Tuesday’s election discussed social influence and did not go into detail about any tangible threat to the voting or vote tallying processes.
Facebook took it upon itself to release its own statement Monday before the election. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said the company is in constant contact with law enforcement and had found 30 Facebook accounts that “may be engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior” since the site removed 82 pages, accounts and groups allegedly linked to Iran on Oct. 26.
The DHS will have 45 days from the election to determine if any interference occurred in the midterms in accordance with an executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Sept. 12 that allows sanctions against foreign nations, groups and individuals found to have meddled in American elections.
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