Look inside cybersecurity ‘war room’ to monitor threats of election interference

2020 Election

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — On Election Day, the federal government will launch a cybersecurity war room. The 24/7 nationwide operation is aimed at fending off any attempts to upend the election.

Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency — or CISA, offered a rare look inside Homeland Security’s Command Center to fight foreign interference.

“We’ll be working here together, trying to identify issues at the smallest possible level, before they become bigger issues,” Krebs said.

From here, CISA will monitor a network of every state’s election system simultaneously until every vote is counted.

“What we’re looking for here is the ability to bring intelligence analysts, cyber operators, folks from law enforcement into the same chatroom,” CISA’s associate director Alexis Wales said.

Krebs said the agency detected foreign interference efforts this month.

Their efforts prompted the FBI and intelligence officials to warn the public within 27 hours.

“Speed kills right now,” Krebs said. “The faster we can get complete information out to the American public, so they can contextualize the things they’re seeing around them, they’re better equipped.”

Cybersecurity expert with Net Choice Carl Szabo says election interference comes in many forms.

“So that’s what they’ll be looking for, anything that looks out of the ordinary,” he said.

From attempts to disrupt or crash networks, to influencing votes on social media.

“This is not the first rodeo the U.S. has been in on the issue of cybersecurity, when it comes to the election, we’ve been doing a lot more.”

Szabo says attempts to interfere in American elections have occurred for decades, but he says no foreign actors have successfully changed votes after they’ve been cast.

Joe Khalil: Do we have any reason to believe that’s going to be different this time around?
Szabo: We have no reason to believe foreign agents will predict or control the outcome of our election.

He says foreign attempts to interfere on Election Day are likely, but says the federal government and local governments are more ready to deal with them now than ever before.

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