Top US cyber-security official Christopher Krebs suggested that he expects to be fired by the Trump administration, after he delivered a secure presidential election that did not go in the current administration’s favour.
Chris Krebs, the 1st & current US Cyber-Security Director, commented his protection of election process drew attacks from Trump’s administration.
Krebs, Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Cyber-Security & Infrastructure Agency (CISA), made sure that the 2020 election was not interfered with by nation-state players, & remained secure for all voters, with the DHS calling it “the most secure in election history” last Thur.
However, Krebs’ efforts to ‘debunk’ misinformation about the legitimacy of the election angered the president given the fact that his opponent & former Vice President Joe Biden has been projected the winner.
President Trump has been insisting, erroneously, according to almost every commentator, that widespread voter fraud occurred during the election & filed lawsuits in a number of states to challenge the results, despite no evidence.
Fair Election Process
Because of the CISA’s support of a fair election process, the White House is expected to call for Krebs’ resignation, according to a Reuters report, citing sources close to the CISA chief.
“The govt. statement about the election being secure should be unremarkable,” tweeted Jonathan Swan, a reporter with news organization Axios. “But the reality is every person who had a hand in writing it will almost certainly face the wrath of President Trump & his inner circle in the White House.”
Another CISA official, Krebs’ Assistant Director, Bryan Ware has also been a ‘casualty’ of election fallout. He confirmed to Reuters that he was asked to resign earlier this week, a request with which he complied.
When hearing this, lawmakers & other observers took to Twitter & to praise the job Krebs has done as CISA director, nothing how he put aside partisanship to work for a common goal to protect US cyber-security infrastructure & the election process. Many also condemned the administration’s decision to fire him.
“Chris Krebs has done a great job protecting our elections,” tweeted Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). “He is one of the few people in this administration respected by everyone on both sides of the aisle. There is no possible justification to remove him from office. None.”
Molly McKew, lead writer at Great Power & a writer & lecturer on Russian influence & information warfare, called the White House’ decision to fire Krebs & Ware “pathetic” given the CISA’s success in protecting the election process.
“US officials credited with significant successes in defending our elections from interference, cyberattacks, disinfo are being asked to resign/expect to be fired. Because of course POTUS would rather compromise national security than grow up,” she tweeted.
“Krebs has been one of the top & most visible election security officials & has aggressively debunked misinformation in the aftermath,” noted Patrick Howell O’Neill, a cyber reporter at MIT Technology Review, on Twitter. “Widely respected for his work this year.”
Security experts also spoke up to complement Krebs for the work he has done since he took on the job as CISA director in June 2018, protecting federal cyber infrastructure and the public from cyber-attack.
Chloé Messdaghi, Vice President of Strategy at Point 3 Security, explained “This last election cycle has been a clear example of why CISA is so important to our national security.
The even-handedness that Christopher Krebs & his team have brought to bear has been invaluable in ensuring election fairness, & in strengthening our threat awareness.’
CISA confirmed the security of election machines themselves & highlighted the potential risks of misinformation campaigns by nation state threats.
“He & the team worked closely with other govt. agencies to bring misinformation threats to the front and let keep us informed on threat actors.”
Under Krebs, the CISA issued regular advisories about key vulnerabilities affecting ubiquitous software used by the administration, ordering depts. & agencies to update when necessary to remain secure.
“Under his leadership, CISA pushed forward on informing the country of longstanding vulnerabilities being exploited or exploitable by foreign actors, & which needed immediate patching, both for the security of the election and for ongoing organizational and national security,” Messdaghi added.
“The US needs the depth of experience or even-handedness that he and his team have brought to our nation’s cyber-security.”