Cyber threats monitored by state officials ahead of Election Day

Federal officials warned that other countries have been working to sway the public opinion in the U.S.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 11:37 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:34 AM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Federal officials warned that other countries have been working to sway the public opinion in the U.S.

That means that on a state level, cyberattacks could be coming.

“We do know our systems were probed by the Gru which is a Russian intelligence back in 2016. There are other incidents of malicious actors, foreign and domestic, out there that just want to cause trouble,” said Scott Bates, Deputy Secretary of the State of Connecticut.

The Secretary of the State’s office has joined forces with the Connecticut Military Department to offer free cybersecurity reviews to the local election infrastructure.

“I don’t mean the voting systems. The machines are not plugged in. But it’s the hardware that you can keep the election rolls, voter rolls, in current order and good shape. Those need to be protected, so we are making sure every town checks their system,” Bates said.

A similar free service was offered in 2020, but Bates said only 65 out of the 169 towns and cities took advantage of it.

He hope that number rises ahead of the midterms to avoid cyber security issues.

“You never want it to be a question of ‘are the results, what the results are.’ Maintain integrity of data. But more importantly, maintaining the security of the system. When you think of the data being most important, you can’t run an election if the system you use to run an election are being impacted by a cyber security threat,” said Tim Weber, vice president, Channel Growth Cyber74.

Weber said his company deals with cyberattacks all the time. He said because the majority of what people do relies on technology, preventing attacks are key. The sooner a town finds out about a malicious event, the better.

He said that’s why on top of checking the systems, training people is also important.

“You can do 100 things right, but if one person falls through that phishing email or clicks on that attachment they shouldn’t have, then all of your defenses can be for not. Addressing the people aspect is often the overlooked part of it,” said Weber.

State officials also said to watch out for fake websites.

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As we get closer to election day, federal officials are warning that other countries are working to sway the public opinion in America.