What the Hack? Government Agencies Already Seeing Coordinated Efforts Trying to Mess With the Election

FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2017, file photo, Some of the Facebook and Instagram ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process and stir up tensions around divisive social issues, released by members of the U.S. House Intelligence committee, are photographed in Washington. Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election has generally been seen as two separate, unrelated tracks: hacking Democratic emails and sending provocative tweets. But a new study suggests the tactics were likely intertwined. On the eve of the release of hacked Clinton campaign emails, Russian-linked trolls retweeted messages from thousands of accounts on both extremes of the American ideological spectrum. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

Hackers around the world will be busy over the next few weeks as they likely will be doing their best to disrupt the upcoming election. Judging from recent alerts from two governmental agencies, they have already achieved some success.

According to a joint alert from The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), hacking is already underway and our election systems are vulnerable.

The agencies noted that “advanced persistent threat actors [are] chaining vulnerabilities—a commonly used tactic exploiting multiple vulnerabilities in the course of a single intrusion—in an attempt to compromise federal and state, local, tribal, and territorial  (SLTT) government networks, critical infrastructure, and elections organizations.”

CISA, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, has stated that there is currently no evidence that the integrity of U.S. elections data has been compromised and that “it does not appear these targets are being selected because of their proximity to elections information.”

Both agencies noted that election officials should take “recommended mitigation actions,” to ensure that election system data remains safe and avoids being compromised as the election draws near.

Federal officials have said the hackers may be actors for foreign adversaries, and China, Russia and Iran have been singled out as specific potential threats. In September, Microsoft revealed that it has evidence of all three countries targeting the 2020 U.S. election.

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