US security chiefs scramble to prevent Russian interference midterm Business

US security chiefs are scrambling to prevent Russian interference in the midterm elections as they are “very concerned” about the Kremlin using cyber warfare and online disinformation.

Jen Easterly, US director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said the United States was forced to tighten its electoral cybersecurity after the Kremlin was accused of influencing the 2016 vote to help Donald Trump win.

Joe Biden and the Democrats are heading for a tough midterms and a recent Ipsos MORI poll found that more than half of Americans are worried about Russia spreading fake news online in this year’s election.

Ms Easterly told the World Economic Forum in Davos that US officials are “very concerned” but have “raised the bar” when it comes to the cybersecurity of election infrastructure.

“I am planning for November because obviously we are very concerned about foreign countries. [influence]said Ms Easterly.

“Frankly, I don’t think Russia should do anything to wreak havoc on our elections.”

Ms Easterly said she was ‘much more concerned about physical threats to election officials and disinformation threats to the trust of the American people’.

It came as the head of the European Defense Agency admitted that many EU countries were avoiding region-wide cyber defense exercises despite the threat from Russia.

Jiří Šedivý, director general of the EDA, said in Davos that only 15 out of 27 EU countries were willing to cooperate in cyber defense training, fearing that Russia would expand its cyber warfare.

Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith has revealed that the tech giant spotted a Russian tactic of carrying out a cyberattack on an area in Ukraine before sending troops there. He said the Kremlin ordered a cyberattack 12 hours before the start of the invasion of Ukraine in February.

He said the day before the invasion, Russia had launched “attacks against approximately 300 targets in Ukraine, all designed to take out computer networks, primarily government, but also some banks, computer companies, etc.”

Mr Smith said the Kremlin’s tactic to take territory in Ukraine involved trying to “dismantle the network [and] then send the troops”.

Pre-midterm polls suggest Democrats are in danger of losing control of at least one chamber of the US Congress.

It will be a huge stumbling block for Mr. Biden’s legislative agenda as his approval ratings are hit by the soaring cost of living.

His rating fell to a new low last week with just 39% of voters saying they approved of his presidency. Only two in 10 Americans said the economy was doing well or heading in the right direction.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-24 14:26:21

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