RSA Conference 2021 – The Chief Information Officer (CISO) of Maricopa County is currently conducting a controversial political report on the results of the 2020 presidential election. He said that the biggest security challenge in the past election years was disinformation campaigns. Mainly on social media.
In a panel discussion held here today, Arizona County’s top cyber security officer Lester Godsey said that his county has seen attackers try port scanning, DDoS attacks and others during the 2020 election cycle. Network activities, but the main threat they face is that attackers invade trust elections and electoral systems.
He said: “I want to say that by 2020, one of our biggest challenges is from the perspective of social media, misinformation/disinformation itself. This is itself a game changer in the county.”
Maricopa County has created a special script that explains how to respond to cyber attacks or other destructive events before and during election day. Godsey said: “On the day of the election, we used part of the script for social media monitoring, which was reported internally by us and passed to our integration center.”
He and his team discovered evidence of the activities of Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors that the FBI has also been monitoring. According to Cynthia Kaiser, the head of the FBI’s Cybersecurity, Intelligence, and Federal Officials Department, during the election year, there was evidence that Iran and the Russian nation-state groups conducted false information propaganda activities on the Internet.
Kaiser, together with Geoff Hale, senior cybersecurity consultant at CISA, spoke in the RSAC election security team. He reiterated that there is no evidence that threat actors attempted to sabotage or undermine the actual number of votes. She said: “We did not see them catching up to the ballot box.” She said: “We saw their thoughts aimed at destabilizing the society,” and she had doubts about the electoral system.
Godsey of Maricopa County said that “there is no evidence” that the election was inappropriate, but misinformation and false information made people confused about some of the integrity of the election process.
He said his team will continue to “perfect” their election manual, incident response manual, information collection and visibility, and “improve the dashboard in SIEM so that we can make adjustments more quickly.” He said that they will also automatically Perform manual tasks.
Watch the entire panel “Election Security: Lessons from the Frontline” here.
Kelly Jackson Higgins (Kelly Jackson Higgins) is the executive editor of “Dark Reading”. She is an award-winning senior technical and business journalist with more than two decades of reporting and editing experience in various publications, including network computing, security enterprise, security and security. …View full profile