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11/07/2022
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The threats to watch during and after the midterms. Estonia's cyber lead talks Russian hacks. And Sen. Mark Warner advocates for a health care cyber czar. This is CyberScoop for Nov. 7.

Election cyberthreats beyond voting equipment

Disinformation continues spreading online ahead of Tuesday’s midterms — casting doubt on everything from the vote-counting process to the trustworthiness of ballot drop boxes — threatening to further destroy confidence in the democratic process. But the biggest threat from these falsehoods and lies may come after voting ends and as officials begin announcing winners in contentious and tight elections around the country. “I certainly would not expect the disinformation to end on Election Day,” said Suzanne Spaulding, a former undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security who now directs the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I think in fact, that it will grow, particularly in a context in which it appears as though, for example, somebody who’s an election denier is losing.” Elias Groll, Suzanne Smalley, AJ Vicens, and Benjamin Freed have the story.


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States deploy national guard ahead of election

Fourteen states have activated cyber units in their National Guards to help protect election officials’ networks from malicious activity during next Tuesday’s midterm vote. The posture has become a familiar feature of election security activities since 2016, when Russian attempts to access some states’ voter registration systems set off new interest in the cybersecurity of voting technology. “One of the things making a lot of this possible are states that’ve just decided to do it,” Brig. Gen. Gent Welsh, the commander of the Washington Air National Guard, said Friday during a media briefing that also featured commanders of other states’ Guard organizations. Nationwide, there are 38 dedicated cyber units in the Air and Army National Guard, comprising more than 2,200 personnel. Benjamin Freed reports for StateScoop.


Sen. Warner hits HHS and CISA for lax coordination

Senator Mark Warner, D-VA, Thursday criticized the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for lack of coordination on cybersecurity in the past two years, during a period when cyberattacks on the health care sector have skyrocketed. In a policy options paper published Thursday, Warner called on the agencies to provide more timely health care sector-specific cybersecurity guidance. The lawmaker also advocated for the appointment of a new cybersecurity czar at HHS, who would report directly to the Secretary of Health. Nihal Krishan writes in FedScoop.


Estonia's cyber lead urges better threat intel-sharing

NATO allies must continue to deepen “actionable” information-sharing about cybersecurity threats and compromises as warfare domains become increasingly digital, Estonia’s National Cyber Director Liisa Past told DefenseScoop in an exclusive interview on Thursday at the Estonian embassy in Washington. Past discussed this and other topics among senior leaders from dozens of nations during the International Counter Ransomware Summit at the White House earlier this week. Estonia is known for fast internet and its modern, all-digital approach to government services. As a former Soviet state and Baltic nation that borders Russia, it is also a vital NATO ally — particularly in the midst of the unfolding conflict between Moscow and Ukraine. Brandi Vincent reports for DefenseScoop.


The cyber strategy and operations of Hamas

The Atlantic Council released a report on Monday detailing how the Palestinian militant group Hamas is emerging as a capable cyber actor focusing on espionage and information operations. Hamas is not as technically sophisticated as others, but they should not be underestimated as they are steadily improving over time, the report warns. "Offensive cyber operations are a new way for Hamas to do old things better," wrote Simon Handler, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative and author of the report. Read the full report.


Exclusive CyberTalks 2022 interviews

Influential leaders in cybersecurity and digital privacy convened at CyberTalks for conversations on securing critical infrastructure, bolstering digital defenses, promoting cyber resiliency and creating new consumer protection. Watch exclusive interviews with:

Find everything about the event here.


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