US. Security officials said at the start of Tuesday that they had not observed anything that significantly involved cyber attacks…
US. Security officials said at the start of Tuesday that they had not observed anything that significantly involved cyber attacks on election infrastructure that voters led to the polls, but they warned that the situation could change rapidly throughout the day.
“What we see is the day early,” said a department of home security chief to reporters. “We continue to monitor what is happening across the country. Nothing is important to report at this time.”
Voices cast voices Tuesday in which experts say it is the safest USA since the birth of the Internet, thanks to the actions taken by government and federal authorities since 201
6 to strengthen cyber security in voting systems.
But security shortages persist in several states and high US officials have repeatedly warned that Russia and others remain intent on disrupting US democracy. Foreign opponents, especially Russia, continue to try to influence the process, said the DHS official.
said it had responded to a US law enforcement tip and suspended 30 Facebook accounts and 85 more on Instagram as officials told the company could involve foreign operations. A person familiar with the case said the tip was taken to Facebook from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which formed a working group last year to better identify and counter campaigns for foreign influences. The FBI refused to comment.
DHS officials, briefing reporters Tuesday morning, did not provide further details about Facebook account removals. A Facebook spokesman said the company had no further information as it was at the beginning of its own investigation.
The Facebook accounts that were taken were predominant in French and Russian while Instagram accounts were largely in English, the company said Monday.
Two years ago, voting systems in states across the country were investigated by suspected Russian hackers and a state, Illinois, had its voice recording database broken. Russian operators also hacked and published democratic emails and peddled divisive disinformation about social media to boost Donald Trump’s candidacy, according to US intelligence agencies.
Russia has repeatedly denied interference in elections in other countries.
Facebook said last year that Russian-created posts reached an estimated 146 million people on their network, including 20 million people at Instagram, owned by Facebook. Facebook has since found less sorts of counterfeit accounts created by actors in Iran and Russia, including as late as October, apparently intended to float political discussion.
Among the most pressing concerns for US and state officials are information about voting that can be spread on the election day itself, such as viral posts with false information about where or when to vote or efforts to suppress purchases among certain demographic groups.
The DHS official said authorities were prepared to respond to harmful players on social media manned successful attacks on voting equipment in order to reduce public confidence in the election.
Officials are worried that Russia or others could introduce new unpredictable tactics on the election day, and some say they are uncomfortable by how quiet Russian hackers are compared to 2016.
Write to Dustin Volz on [email protected]