The FBI and CISA have warned US citizens about a disinformation campaign targeting the upcoming presidential election. Under this, the threat actors are actively spreading fake information about voter systems being hacked to reduce their trust in the election process. Further, the FBI and CISA have issued a list on how to handle such information.
The US Warns About Disinformation Campaigns
Since the past, there have been a number of reports telling that foreign countries are tampering the US elections in various ways. While some confirmed the interception of Russian hacking groups in the 2014 election, researchers and federal agencies warn about a repeat in such attacks for this year’s election.
False claims of hacked voter information are likely to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election. Read the public service announcement we jointly issued with the @FBI: https://t.co/8QXivWd82Y #Protect2020
— Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (@CISAgov) September 28, 2020
Under this, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued their own terms of Public Service Announcements (PSA) to citizens, to make them aware of the disinformation campaign targeting the US presidential elections 2020, which is scheduled in November.
They reported a manipulative campaign telling that voting systems have been compromised and election data was breached. While this isn’t true, they said revealed that voter registration information was actually a public data that can be accessed from respective state-federal portals.
Moreover, even though few threat actors had their hands on the voter registration information earlier, they were unable to tamper the election process, election systems, or the results. They were unsuccessful even in preventing anyone from voting, but just spreading hoax “to manipulate public opinion, sow discord, discredit the electoral process.”
Thus, they have issued the following recommendations for citizens on consuming such data;
- Seek out information from trustworthy sources, verify who produced the content, and consider their intent.
- Verify through multiple reliable sources any reports about compromises of voter information or voting systems, and consider searching for other reliable sources before sharing such information via social media or other avenues.
- Rely on state and local election officials for information about voter registration databases and voting systems.
- 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.
- View early, unverified claims with a healthy dose of skepticism.
- Report potential election crimes—such as disinformation about the manner, time, or place of voting—to the FBI.