The U.S. government will launch a program about a month from now to help state officials prevent ransomware attacks on voter registration databases and systems, ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
The Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency program is designed to teach state election officials how they can prevent ransomware infestations and other internet-based attacks that represent as an increasingly grave threat to election security.
Voter registration databases are particularly ripe targets for ransomware, a type of attack in which the attacker sends a virus that can cripple entire city computer networks.
Such incidents have already happened in major cities throughout the United States, most recently in Texas, Baltimore, MD, and Atlanta, GA.
CISA won’t be offering states “advice on whether a state should ultimately pay or refuse to pay ransom to a hacker if one of its systems is already infected,” Reuters reports:
These systems, which are widely used to validate the eligibility of voters before they cast ballots, were compromised in 2016 by Russian hackers seeking to collect information. Intelligence officials are concerned that foreign hackers in 2020 not only will target the databases but attempt to manipulate, disrupt or destroy the data, according to current and former U.S. officials.
“We assess these systems as high risk,” said a senior U.S. official, because they are one of the few pieces of election technology regularly connected to the Internet.
(…) “Recent history has shown that state and county governments and those who support them are targets for ransomware attacks,” said Christopher Krebs, CISA’s director. “That is why we are working alongside election officials and their private sector partners to help protect their databases and respond to possible ransomware attacks.”
“It is imperative that states and municipalities limit the availability of information about electoral systems or administrative processes and secure their websites and databases that could be exploited,” the FBI said in a statement, supporting the Homeland Security initiative.
U.S. officials fear ransomware attack against 2020 election [Christopher Bing, Reuters. IMAGE: Shutterstock]
I remember the urban legend of rats from my youth. Engadget shares this nugget: Plant-based meat substitutes may soon be an option for fast food chicken. CNBC reports that KFC will start testing Beyond Fried Chicken at an Atlanta restaurant on August 27th. Yes, you could grab a bucket of chicken without feeling quite so […]
The gall. Pardoned by Orange Julius, racist birther asshat Joe Arpaio is running for his old job of Maricopa County Sheriff. The Guardian: Joe Arpaio announced on Sunday – the second anniversary of his pardon by Donald Trump – that he will see re-election to his old job next year. Arpaio, 87, is a Republican […]
What the fuck is she talking about? pic.twitter.com/Mchf0L4rDx — Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) August 24, 2019 Pockets are not actually in the bill of rights.
The weather is settling right into the pocket for an outdoor movie night, so it’s worth spotlighting one of the best – and smallest – projectors around: The Prima 1080p HD Pocket Projector. Even if the performance was sub-par (and it’s not), this gadget would be notable just for how portable and easy it makes […]
There’s no shortage of stories about the benefits of cannabidiol, that benign (and non-psychoactive) cousin of THC. Some have been using it for years to deal with pain, stress, and sleeplessness. And the more people use it, the more discussion there is about how to use it. While there’s no shortage of quality edibles on […]
Are we done with capsule coffee makers yet? Sure, they’re easy. But they are not so easy on the environment, and it’s debatable whether they actually make a better cup. Luckily, there’s never been a better time to switch back to the good old reliable drip method – especially when drip coffeemakers have quietly been […]