U.S. fears cyber attack on next year's presidential elections

The Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency is taking steps to ensure that the 2020 elections won't be compromised by hackers.


NSFW    WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is increasing its efforts to protect election databases and electoral systems from hackers in the run-up to next year's presidential elections, Reuters reports.

The Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency, CISA, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, issued a statement and a set of guidelines in order to prevent next year's elections from being compromised.

The agency warned that hackers may try to target voter databases and attempt to manipulate, disrupt or even destroy voting data by conducting ransomware cyber attacks.

In an ransomware attack, hackers lock a computer with malicious software until someone remits money, usually in the form of cryptocurrency, to the attacker, according to Reuters.

CISA said in the statement that they will be working with the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center to provide remote vulnerability scanning and risk assessments for state governments upon request.

CISA issued a set of guidelines urging local governments to regularly back up critical data on the system and to store backup files offline.

However, an unnamed senior Homeland Security official told Reuters that there is no standard regulation stating how often backups should be created.

CISA also urged local governments to have a clear plan to address the cyber attacks and to request assistance from their agency or the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center if an attack occurs.
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