Less than one month before election day, it’s been revealed that the US election system is under direct threat from outside sources.
The FBI and DHS claimed hackers have gained access to US elections systems nationwide.
It is unclear who the so-called hackers are; the FBI labeled them as “advanced persistent threat actors” or APT.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said there is no evidence elections data was hacked and that “it does not appear these targets are being selected because of their proximity to elections information.”
Fox News reported:
Hackers, possibly nation-state actors, have penetrated U.S. government networks and accessed election systems, the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said in a joint alert.
In some cases, there was unauthorized access to election support systems, CISA added.
CISA did intimate that election system data could be compromised, noting “there are steps that election officials, their supporting … IT staff, and vendors can take to help defend against this malicious cyber activity.”
Hackers got access via a combination of vulnerabilities – what CISA calls “vulnerability chaining.” It is a commonly used tactic and in this case targeted federal and state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government networks, critical infrastructure, and elections organizations.
The hackers targeted a Virtual Private Network (VPN) vulnerability and a flaw in Netlogon, a Windows protocol to authenticate users.
The alert did not state explicitly who the bad actors were, only referring to them as “advanced persistent threat (APT) actors.” But that is a term often reserved for state-sponsored hacking groups, according to experts.
Mail-in ballot chaos, ballot harvesting and now vague claims of hackers compromising US elections systems — all being done to further delegitimize the election process.