A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced a bill that would require the federal government to do more to help state and local officials combat cyber threats. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Thursday announced that they have reintroduced the State and Local Cyber Protection Act, which would bolster cybersecurity cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security and state and local governments.
The FBI, NSA and CIA all agree that the Russian government tried to influence the 2016 presidential election by hacking candidates and political parties and leaking the documents they gathered. That’s disturbing. But they could have done even worse. It is entirely possible for an adversary to hack American computerized voting systems directly and select the next commander in chief.
State election officials are making plans to tighten security all along the voting chain – from voter registration to machine integrity, audit trails and help from the Department of Homeland Security under the new critical infrastructure designation. At a Feb. 13-14 meeting of the Election Assistance Commission, New Jersey State Department’s division of elections Bob Giles said that although his state’s voting machines are not connected to the internet, the attention garnered by Russia’s reported electoral influence has led to a rethinking of his agency’s cybersecurity protocols.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Tuesday said he backed a decision in the Obama administration’s final days to designate elections systems as critical infrastructure in order to boost their cyber defenses, after the government concluded Russian hackers tried to influence the 2016 presidential race. Some conservative states, such as Georgia, had expressed concerns that the Obama administration move amounted to a federal takeover of elections traditionally run by state and local governments.
There has been plenty of talk in recent weeks, much of it emanating from the White House, about voter fraud. Now, a new study released by the Brennan Center For Justice, entitled “Election Integrity: A Pro-Voter Agenda,” confirms in-person voter fraud is a rarity. The paper argues that the integrity of elections can be strengthened without discouraging eligible voters. On January 25th, President Donald Trump Tweeted “I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD…” Trump claimed millions voted illegally in the election: “You have people registered in two states.
Tomorrow, the Committee on House Administration (CHA) will convene to markup H.R. 634, the “Election Assistance Commission Termination Act.” The bill is part of CHA Chairman Gregg Harper (MS-3)’s ongoing attempt to eliminate the EAC, a campaign he has waged for several Congresses (and about which I wrote most recently in March 2015).
The leader of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants a fuller accounting from the Department of Homeland Security about complaints of the agency “rattling of doorknobs” on the state of Georgia’s network firewall. Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sent letters on Jan. 11 to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and DHS Inspector General John Roth asking about “unauthorized scans” and “unsuccessful attempts to penetrate” the Georgia Secretary of State’s firewall from last February into November’s election season.
Amid ongoing investigations into how Russia may have used cyberhacking to influence the 2016 presidential election, the Obama administration added the nation’s elections systems to the list of “critical infrastructure.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision, which was announced last Friday, is meant to ensure that elections systems — which include voting machines, storage facilities and voter registration databases — are a high priority for federal cybersecurity assistance and protections.
The US presidential election was correct, according to a crowdfunded effort to recount the vote in key states, but the review also highlighted the unprecedented extent to which the American political system is vulnerable to cyberattack, according to two computer scientists who helped the effort to audit the vote. J Alex Halderman and Matt Bernhard, both of the University of Michigan, campaigned in favor of a recount of the US presidential election, which was eventually spearheaded by Jill Stein, the Green party candidate.
U.S. intelligence agencies on Thursday released a detailed report laying out evidence showing that Russia’s government orchestrated cyberattacks meant to tamper with America’s presidential election. The 13-page Joint Analysis Report (JAR), released by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), details the technical methods two Russian intelligence agencies used to “compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S.