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Election Day was largely free from disruptive cyberattacks, as efforts shift to combating misinformation – TechCrunch

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Polls closed within the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday with none important or disruptive cyberattacks, in response to cybersecurity officers and specialists.

Election Day wasn’t with out its issues. Some voting machines in Nevada and Texas went down however had been shortly again up and working, some voters in Georgia and Ohio had to use paper ballots after hand sanitizer leaked into the machines, and the FBI mentioned it was aware of robocalls urging Individuals in swing states to “keep secure and keep residence.” And delays within the postal system and guidelines that meant no ballots might be counted till Election Day left a backlog of votes nonetheless to be counted lengthy after the polls closed.

Homeland Safety’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company (CISA), which oversees the safety of U.S. elections, mentioned Election Day glided by largely with out a hitch.

“What we’ve seen as we speak is simply one other Tuesday on the web,” mentioned a senior CISA official on a name with reporters afterward Tuesday. However the official admitted that “we’re not out of the woods but,” pointing to the reporting of ultimate vote counts, with many state election outcomes balancing on a knife edge.

Knowledge printed by Cloudflare instructed a slight uptick in cyberattacks on authorities election web sites on Election Day, however chief govt Matthew Prince tweeted that the rise was “comparatively small” and the assaults “unsophisticated.”

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In an electronic mail after the polls closed, Prince advised PJDM: “Each Web site visitors and assault site visitors to election web sites spiked at occasions on election day, as anticipated. We don’t see the whole lot, however once more, there have been no stories of any cyberattacks that threatened the integrity of election web sites or infrastructure.”

It’s a world away from the 2016 election, which noticed Russian-backed misinformation actors swamp social media websites with false info and fascinating in “hack-and-leak” operations, together with documents and emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential marketing campaign and the Democratic Nationwide Committee. Since then, the federal government has spent billions in preparedness efforts forward of the 2018 midterm elections, which Homeland Safety noticed no evidence of vote hacking or manipulation, in addition to the creation of CISA to enhance election safety and infrastructure throughout america.

NSA director Gen. Paul Nakasone, who additionally oversees the federal government’s offensive cyber division Cyber Command, mentioned that the federal government “will preserve fixed vigilance” and stands prepared to assist Homeland Safety and the FBI to “present info to social media platforms to counteract affect operations.”

“International adversaries proceed to see a chance to undermine our nation’s elections,” mentioned Nakasone. “Nevertheless, we have now the potential, capability, and can to forestall any sort of interference or affect in our elections. I’m assured the actions we’ve taken towards adversaries over the previous a number of weeks and months have ensured they’re not going to intrude in our elections. In the case of those that threaten our democratic processes, we’re equal alternative disruptors. We’re going to take motion towards any nation state or actor who makes an attempt to intrude in our elections.”

It was broadly anticipated that the vote depend would prolong into the week, with swing states Pennsylvania and North Carolina nonetheless accepting and counting postal votes. However with out a clear winner on the day — which Individuals have largely change into accustomed to — all eyes and efforts are on combating the unfold of misinformation, together with false claims of a presidential win.

A lot of the efforts to filter misinformation has come from the social networks instantly. Fb and Twitter got here below fireplace for failing to curb the spread of incorrect and intentionally false info unfold on their platforms through the 2016 election.

However this time round, the social networks declare to be higher ready.

President Trump’s first tweet of the day on Wednesday was blocked by Twitter after the Republican presidential incumbent claimed the Democrats had been “attempting to steal” the election by combating efforts by the Trump marketing campaign for states to cease counting ballots after Election Day. Some states, like Michigan and Pennsylvania, weren’t allowed to start counting ballots till Election Day itself. Unsurprisingly, given the pandemic-driven rise in mail-in voting and elevated voter turnout, the ultimate outcomes are more likely to take time.

Anticipating that there could be no clear winner on Election Day, Twitter put in new guidelines in September forward of the election to remove or attach a warning label to any claims of an election victory previous to the outcomes being formally introduced.

Fb and Instagram have additionally issued warnings advising voters that outcomes could take time and a winner has “not been projected but,” in an effort to counter unverified claims of a closing winner.

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Zack Whittaker