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WASHINGTON – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs released the following statement today, along with a video, on the agency’s ongoing efforts with public and private sector partners to protect the 2020 elections from foreign interference. CISA also unveiled a new web page, cisa.gov/rumorcontrol, which details the agency’s efforts to combat disinformation.
“We’re now in the final stretch of the election and tens of millions of voters have already cast their votes free from foreign interference. We remain confident that no foreign cyber actor can change your vote, and we still believe that it would be incredibly difficult for them to change the outcome of an election at the national level.
“But that doesn’t mean various actors won’t try to introduce chaos in our elections and make sensational claims that overstate their capabilities. In fact, the days and weeks just before and after Election Day is the perfect time for our adversaries to launch efforts intended to undermine your confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.
“Cyber actors can do this by taking advantage of the fact that sometimes it’s not clear how technology is used in elections. For starters, election officials use computers to improve both your ability to vote and the accuracy of the vote itself. But in doing so, election officials understand that these systems aren’t perfect, and sometimes things breaks, malfunction, or could even be hacked.
“The election experience is designed to ensure that technology isn’t a single point of failure and there are measures in place to ensure you can vote and your vote is counted correctly. You should have confidence in the integrity of the process and don't overreact to claims that exaggerate the importance of insignificant events.
“Anticipating attempts along these lines, CISA and the FBI recently released a series of Public Service Announcements describing some of the tactics the bad guys might use, the security measures in place to stop them, and the steps you can take to spot - and stop - foreign influence.
“We’ve also posted our election security rumor control page – you can find that at CISA.gov/rumorcontrol. We cover a variety of scenarios to help you, as an informed voter, distinguish between rumors and facts on election security issues.
A few things you can do – first, look for trusted sources of information, like election officials.
Second, only share information from trusted sources. And third, discourage others from sharing sensational but unverified information. Remember, our adversaries are trying to make you lose faith in our electoral process and ultimately in our democracy.
“The last line of defense in election security is you, the American voter — so be prepared for efforts that call into question the legitimacy of the election.
“I’m confident that American voters are going to decide the 2020 elections and you should be too, so get out there and vote with confidence.”