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US May Stay Unprepared for 2018 Elections Over Queue for Cybersecurity Screening

CC0 / Pixabay / Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity - Sputnik International
Several US states might get only a few weeks to improve their systems before the Congress elections in 2018, while needing months to wait for DHS screening.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The authorities of US states may spend up to nine months waiting for the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity screening before the Congress elections in 2018, which might not leave them enough time to make changes recommended by the federal authorities, local media reported Friday citing government officials familiar with the matter.

States at the end of the list might get only a few weeks to improve their systems before the vote, Politico news outlet reported. In order to minimize the risks of cyberattacks, the DHS has already released general recommendations to the states so that they are able to ensure the security of their computer systems at a basic level.

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Earlier this month, a new US Senate legislation has been introduced, which aims to boost cybersecurity of state election systems. According to Senator James Lankford’s office, this has to "protect against foreign interference in future elections".

Western countries have repeatedly accused Russia of involvement in computer hacking attacks against them. In January, US intelligence issued a report accusing Russia of carrying out cyberattacks aimed at undermining the 2016 presidential election. However, in November, DHS National Programs Security Chief Christopher Krebs admitted in congressional testimony that Russian hackers never attacked US voting system during the 2016 election.

Earlier, retired US Navy admiral and NATO supreme allied commander James Stavridis said in an article, that despite spending billions of dollars on cybersecurity, the US still falls behind in withstanding massive cyberattacks. He noted, that malware attack that swept across the globe on May 12 exposed crucial vulnerabilities in the United States cybersecurity system.

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