DHS and FBI helping state governments defend against cyber attacks on Election Day


DIG INTO WHICH STATES VOTERS MATTER THE MOST. WE’LL LAY OUT WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HEAD TO THE POLLS TOMORROW MORNING. WE BEGIN WITH THE ADOPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ON HIGH ALERT OF CYBER THREAT BEFORE THE ELECTION. WE LOOK AT THE POSSIBILITY OF WIDE-SPREAD BREECHES AND A LIKELIHOOD HACKERS CAN STRIKE IN MARYLAND. Reporter: THE THREAT IS SERIOUS ENOUGH THAT THE FBI SENT OUT A WARNING TO STATE GOVERNMENTS IN AUGUST. DHS HAS INCIDENT RESPONSE TEAMS IN PLACE FOR ELECTION NIGHT. AFTER SPEAKING TO EXPERTS THE THREAT IS LOW. THERE IS A NEED FOR MORE SECURE VOTING MACHINES. JUST THIS SUMMER THE FBI SAID THEY HAD EVIDENCE OF INTERNATIONAL HACKERS TARGETING VOTER REGISTRATION SYSTEMS IN SEVERAL STATES. AS THE BREECH THAT’S RAISED SECURITY QUESTIONS AHEAD OF TOMORROW’S ELECTION. DHS AND FBI NOTICED IRREGULARITIES IN VOTER REGISTRATION DATABASES IS. Reporter: IN ILLINOIS AND ARIZONA HACKERS WERE ABLE TO ACCESS VOTER INFORMATION BUT CHRIS THOMAS A STRATEGIST WITH THE CYBER SECURITY FIRM IN COLUMBIA SAID THE INFORMATION GATHERED WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CHANGE AN ELECTION. THERE IS A SMALL DANGER SOMEBODY COULD CHANGE ROLES, DELETE PEOPLE, ADD NEW PEOPLE. IT WOULD HAVE TO BE DONE IN SUCH A WAY YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO CREATE ENOUGH NEW VOTES TO CHANGE A NATIONAL ELECTION AND DO IT IN A WAY NOBODY CAN NOTICE. Reporter: DHS IS WORKING WITH MANY STATES INCLUDING MARYLAND TO SCAN COMPUTER SYSTEMS AND IDENTIFY ANY VULNERABILITIES. LINDA WITH THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SAID THEY REACHED OUT TO THE FBI FOLLOWING THE TWO BREECHES TO SEE IF ANYMORE COULD BE DONE TO ENHANCE THEIR SECURITY. WE DO ROUTINE SCANNING. WE ARE WORKING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WHO IS ALSO DOING SCANNING OF OUR SYSTEMS. WE FOUND NOTHING. Reporter: STATES MUST WORK TO PROTECT THEIR ELECTION MACHINES. THOMAS SAYS IT IS POSSIBLE TO CHANGE SOMEONE’S VOTE BUT THAT’S ONLY IF A HACKER HAS PHYSICAL ACCESS TO THE SYSTEM. YOU CAN MANIPULATE THE TALLLY THE MACHINE IS COLLECTING. WHETHER IT IS VOTE FLIPPING OR CHANGING THE VOTE AFTER THE FACT OR CHANGING BALLOTS. ALL THESE THINGS ARE POSSIBLE OR HAVE BEEN SHOWN POSSIBLE ON VARIOUS MACHINES. ALL CASES YOU ALWAYS NEED TO HAVE PHYSICAL ACCESS TO THE SYSTEM. Reporter: THERE IS NO WAY FOR HACKERS TO CHANGE THE DATA. NONE OF THE SYSTEMS ARE PUT ONLINE. ELECTION COMPUTERS ARE NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. ELECTION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ARE NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. EVEN IF THEY WERE WE ARE TALKING 9,000 DIFFERENCE JURISDICTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES WITH DIFFERENT TECHNOLOGY AND DIFFERENT VOTING COMPUTERS. THERE IS A LARGE ECOSYSTEM OF COMPUTERS SOMEBODY WOULD HAVE TO COMPROMISE AND DO IT IN SUCH A WAY NOBODY NOTICES. Reporter: SOMETHING THAT’S EXTREMELY UNLIKELY. WITH POLLS SET TO OPEN SOON THE STATE FEELS COMFORTABLE WITH THE SYSTEMS THEY HAVE IN PLACE. IT IS AS SECURE AS WE CAN GET THEM. Reporter: MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE IN THE FUTURE TO PROTECT THE INNING THE YOUTY OF — INTEGRITY OF ELECTIONS. WE ONLY TALK ABOUT THIS EVERY FOUR OR EIGHT YEARS. WE NEED TO HAVE A NATIONAL CONVERSATION NOVEMBER 9th SO IN FOUR YEARS WE ARE READY FOR THE NEXT ELECTION. Reporter: OFFICIALS ARE CONFIDENT NO BREECH WILL AFFECT THE OUTCOME OF THE ELECTION.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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