CISA official: No ‘credible’ cyber threat to Election Day

Ballot voting

There are no impending digital threats to today’s election, according to a senior Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) official.

“We continue to see no specific or credible threat to disrupt election infrastructure today,” the official told reporters during the first of three background briefings the agency will hold today.

“We continue to remain in high confidence in the security and resilience of the elections, because of the extensive preparation that goes into every election and the numerous safeguards in place across every step of the process,” the official added, just hours after polls opened.

The remarks come a day after Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Kremlin-linked oligarch known as “Vladimir Putin’s chef,” seemed to admit to Russian interference in U.S. elections in a Telegram post.

“I will answer you very subtly, and delicately and I apologize, I will allow a certain ambiguity. Gentlemen, we interfered, we interfere and we will interfere,” Prigozhin said.

The CISA official said the organization was aware of the comment and called it the “type of activity that we helped to work with election partners in order to ensure that, should he be telling the truth or not, is irrelevant.”

The official said that compared to past election cycles, cyber interference in 2022 “has been quieter, although not nonexistent. But influence activity has been a point where we continue to see normative behavior across multiple nation-states.”

“The playbook from 2016 is out there,” the official said, referring to Russia’s multi-pronged digital assault on the presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. 

“Now we have observed participants who did not really engage in 2020 willing to engage in election influence in 2022,” the official told reporters, a nod to activities by Iran and China.

Still, the official stressed, CISA does not have “any attributed malicious cyber activity on election infrastructure yet.”

Also on Tuesday, U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency chief Gen. Paul Nakasone tweeted that his agencies are working with CISA and the FBI “to defend against foreign adversaries who seek to interfere with or influence our elections.”

“We’ve got the watch.”

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