Thanks to @margbrennan & @FaceTheNation for the opportunity to talk about election security. I have confidence in the integrity of our election infrastructure, & the American people should too. https://t.co/yBHPj3unEX
— Jen Easterly🛡️ (@CISAJen) October 31, 2022
FBI/CISA ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and CISA have published a joint public service announcement that:
- Assesses malicious cyber activity aiming to compromise election infrastructure is unlikely to result in large-scale disruptions or prevent voting.
- Confirms “the FBI and CISA have no reporting to suggest cyber activity has ever prevented a registered voter from casting a ballot, compromised the integrity of any ballots cast, or affected the accuracy of voter registration information.”
The PSA also describes the extensive safeguards in place to protect election infrastructure and includes recommendations for protecting against election-related cyber threats.
- For information about registering to vote, polling locations, voting by mail, the provisional ballot process, and final election results, rely on state and local government election officials.
- Remain alert to election-related schemes which may attempt to impede election administration.
- Be wary of emails or phone calls from unfamiliar email addresses or phone numbers that make suspicious claims about the elections process or of social media posts that appear to spread inconsistent information about election-related incidents or results.
- Do not communicate with unsolicited email senders, open attachments from unknown individuals, or provide personal information via email without confirming the requester’s identity. Be aware that many emails requesting your personal information often appear to be legitimate.
- Verify through multiple, reliable sources any reports about compromises of voter information or voting systems, and consider searching for other reliable sources before sharing such information via social media or other avenues.
- Be cautious with websites not affiliated with local or state government that solicit voting information, like voter registration information. Websites that end in “.gov” or websites you know are affiliated with your state or local election office are usually trustworthy. Be sure to know what your state and local elections office websites are in advance to avoid inadvertently providing your information to nefarious websites or actors.
- Report potential crimes—such as cyber targeting of voting systems—to your local FBI Field Office.
- Report cyber-related incidents on election infrastructure to your local election officials and CISA (Central@CISA.gov).
.@CISAJen says follow your locally officials on Twitter & these sites for trusted voting info: National Association of Secretaries of State https://t.co/ftUjZ8Y5Q5, TrustedInfo2022, National Association of Election Directors https://t.co/f4g6g5C8BF https://t.co/vNzqctxxVU
— Margaret Brennan (@margbrennan) October 30, 2022
This FBI/CISA public service announcement is consistent with the latest OODA Loop research on disinformation and misinformation, which are defined in a variety of ways. The Aspen Institute’s Information Disorder Commission employed the following definitions:
Information disorder, coined by First Draft Co-Founder Claire Wardle, denotes the broad societal challenges associated with misinformation, disinformation, and malformation.
Disinformation is false or misleading information, intentionally created or strategically amplified to mislead for a purpose (e.g., political, financial, or social gain).
Misinformation is false or misleading information that is not necessarily intentional.
OODA Loop research utilizes the framework formulated by OODA CTO Bob Gourley, that of the Cognitive Infrastructure of a nation-state, which is “the mental capacities of a nation-state’s citizens and the decision-making ability of people, organizations, and government. It also includes the information channels used to inform decision-making capabilities and the education and training systems used to prepare citizens and organizations for critical thinking. Our cognitive infrastructure is threatened in ways few of us ever imagined just a few years ago. Traditional propaganda techniques have been modernized and are now aided by advanced technologies and new information dissemination methods.”
Further OODA Loop Resources
- The CISA CSAC: Cognitive Infrastructure Research and Election Public Messaging: The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) continues to model an operational structure with an effective public/private partnership component that yields actionable results. The latest success is the evolution of the CISA Cybersecurity Advisory Committee (CSAC which meets quarterly) and its subcommittees, specifically the time-sensitive work of the Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Misinformation and Disinformation (MDM) Subcommittee. Following is the anatomy of a CSAC subcommittee, including the mission statement formulated in December 2021, followed by the subcommittee’s quarterly updates, reports, and recommendations. The case study concludes with the recently released public service announcement from the FBI and CISA – which demonstrates the value and impact of the work of the subcommittee since December 2021.
- Ongoing Efforts to Combat Information Disorder and Strengthen our Cognitive Infrastructure: Last year, OODA Network Member Congressman Will Hurd was a Commissioner for the Aspen Institute’s Information Disorder Report. Congressman Hurd will take part in a Keynote Conversation at OODAcon (which is the final event of the event to be held on Tuesday, October 18th). In the run-up to the event next week, the following is an update on some of the research and project outcomes achieved by various global efforts working to understand and combat “information disorder” and build a strong cognitive infrastructure.
- An Executive’s Guide To Cognitive Bias in Decision Making: A Career Intelligence Officer Provides Context on Fighting Bias in Judgement: Cognitive Bias and the errors in judgment they produce are seen in every aspect of human decision-making, including in the business world. Companies that have a better understanding of these cognitive biases can optimize decision-making at all levels of the organization, leading to better performance in the market. Companies that ignore the impact these biases have on corporate decision-making put themselves at unnecessary risk. This post by OODA Co-Founder Bob Gourley provides personal insights into key biases as well as mitigation strategies you can put in place right now.
- National Cognitive Infrastructure Protection: What Can We Learn from the Swedish Psychological Defence Authority? In 2019, in what now reads like a strikingly prescient premonition, OODA CTO Bob Gourley penned a two-part series on the neglect of our national Cognitive Infrastructure, which includes the mental capacities of our citizens and the decision-making ability of people, organizations, and our government. It also includes the information channels used to feed our decision-making capabilities and the education and training systems used to prepare people and organizations for critical thinking. In the series, Bob discussed the efforts by the U.S. government in the 1990s to create a framework for “Critical Infrastructure Protection” when talking about manufacturing, dams, the energy sector, nuclear reactors, etc. But what about the protection of our critical cognitive infrastructure, which is threatened in ways few of us ever imagined just a few years ago? The Swedes offer an exemplary agency model.
- “The Worst-Case Scenario is the Least Probable” and Other Cognitive Biases: Global Drought, Catastrophic Monsoons and Floods and “Zombie Ice”: Our editorial approach here at OODA Loop is an optimistic approach, based on the influence of ‘solutions-based’ journalism and a belief in the American “mission” writ large, including years of experience with deeply humble, remarkably talented people that make up American agencies, departments, and institutions. It is also part of our job, however, to position negative metrics and trends as part of our overall sensemaking on behalf of the membership – and try to achieve something resembling a stoic, balanced stance on most information we are handling at any given time. We also use scenario planning to tell the story of the future as we are seeing it – to influence risk strategies and decision-making processes for our member organizations. So, with that: Are you sitting down? Because I have some bad news, along with a mental model through which to analyze its implications.
- More research and analysis from OODA Loop on Cognitive Infrastructure.
- CISA: Shields Up!
It should go without saying that tracking threats are critical to inform your actions. This includes reading our OODA Daily Pulse, which will give you insights into the nature of the threat and risks to business operations.
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