The FBI & CISA have issued a new warning about the 2020 Presidential election, suggesting that foreign actors are spreading disinformation about hacked voter information.
In advance of last night’s 1st 2020 US presidential debate, & what is an ever more controversial presidential election, 2 US govt. agencies on Mon. urged vigilance around disinformation campaigns that may target voters.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) & the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) both issued a joint public service announcement on Mon., warning that hackers & foreign players, in an effort to sow discord & undermine democracy, are spreading false information about hacked election infrastructure, & leaked voter registration data.
The warning should not come as a surprise.
Disinformation, worsened by political vitriol, fear around an unresolved presidential election, & foreign interference has only further inflamed issues around Nov’s US election.
The FBI & CISA formally warned about the dangers of disinformation in the warning, stressing attackers could use platforms to manipulate public opinion, & diminish the credibility of the electoral process, & in turn, trust in the US Govt.
While voter data can be accessed online – in some US states anyone can request voter registration lists – it’s never had an impact on elections.
“The FBI & CISA have no information suggesting any cyber-attack on US election infrastructure has prevented an election from occurring, prevented a registered voter from casting a ballot, compromised the accuracy of voter registration information, or compromised the integrity of any ballots cast.”
The 2 agencies are asking Americans to stop & think before sharing or believing things they read on the internet, & to exercise caution when presented with stories on hacked or leaked voter registration databases or systems.
In general, voters should do the following to verify the integrity of news on the US election & voting, according to CISA & the FBI:
- Seek out information from trustworthy sources, verify who produced the content, & consider their intent.
- Rely on state & local election officials for information about voter registration databases & voting systems.
- View early, unverified claims with a healthy dose of scepticism.
- Verify through multiple reliable sources any reports about compromises of voter information or voting systems & consider searching for other reliable sources before sharing such information via social media or other avenues.
- Report potential election crimes—such as disinformation about the manner, time, or place of voting—to the FBI.
- If appropriate, make use of in-platform tools offered by social media companies for reporting suspicious posts that appear to be spreading false or inconsistent information about voter information or voting systems.
The warning is the newest in a series via the 2 agencies; last week the groups tried to raise awareness around the likeliness attackers could spread disinformation around the election’s results.
This follow a statement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, William Evanina, that foreign players with China, Russia & Iran have a preference for who wins the election & want to further divide the US.