FBI and CISA Alert: Foreign Actors and Cybercriminals Likely to Spread Disinformation Regarding 2020 Election Results
Earlier this week, the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an announcement to alert the public to the potential threat of foreign interference in reporting 2020 election results and disinformation campaigns. According to the government agencies, foreign actors and cybercriminals may create or alter websites, and share or create false social media content that discredits the electoral process and undermines confidence in US democratic institutions. State and local elections typically take several days to certify election results, ensuring that every vote cast legally has been included in the results.
However, foreign actors and cybercriminals could use this time gap to their advantage, releasing fake reports that claim voter suppression, cyberattack targeting election infrastructure, ballot fraud, or other issues that it claims occurred to undermind the election’s legitimacy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mail-in ballots will likely be widely used in the elections this year, leaving officials with an incomplete vote on election night. Foreign threat actors will likely take advantage of this if it occurs. The government agencies are urging Americans to take extra care in ensuring the legitimacy of their information and seeking multiple sources.