Can the US circumvent November 2020 election hacking? In newly released statements, intelligence officials warn of grave challenges ahead.
Here’s what US officials have determined:
“We assess that China prefers that President Trump…does not win re-election,” stated William Evanina, director of the national Counterintelligence and Security Center.
Ahead of the American elections, China wants to influence US policies, and to pressure certain political figures, reports Evanina. “Beijing recognizes that all of these efforts might affect the presidential race.” Yet, to date, China has signaled its preferences without posing any clear threats.
In contrast, “Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment’, says Evanina. Russia’s capabilities have been compared to the vortex of a frightening and violent tornado.
According to US officials, in Iran, threat actors are likely to pursue disinformation campaigns, and to circulate anti-US materials on social media.
How can US officials and citizens work to counter foreign interference?
US officials state that election interference will not be tolerated. They are proactively working with social media companies, among other groups, to help safeguard the elections.
In addition, the US Department of State’s “Rewards for Justice” program is offering a 10M to anyone who can provide information about foreign interference. The Department of State has reached out to targeted individuals in Iran soliciting information.
US officials are interested in identifying individuals who aim to disrupt campaigns, meddle with election infrastructure, and who pose threats to election officials. This is the third major “Rewards for Justice” initiative this year.
For more on hackers meddling in the US elections, read this ZDNet article.