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Hackers might attempt to influence midterm elections, FBI and CISA warn

Threat actors may try to influence the outcome of 2022 midterm US elections, an advisory warns.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an alert, warning about the potential attempts of foreign actors to manipulate information or spread disinformation in the lead-up to and after the 2022 midterm elections.

As such, they may attempt to spread false information about the compromises of election infrastructure, voter suppression, and voter or ballot fraud. The narratives are meant to undermine confidence in the election processes, according to the advisory.

As with previous election cycles, foreign actors continue to knowingly spread false narratives about election infrastructure to promote social discord and distrust in U.S. democratic processes and institutions, and may include attempts to incite violence,” the agencies explain.

Threat actors may opt for dark web media channels, online journals, messaging applications, spoofed websites, emails, text messages, and social media posts to spread disinformation.

Specifically, they may falsely claim to have successfully compromised election infrastructure and publish leaked US voter information as proof – some of which is publicly available.

Previously, the FBI and CISA stated that no currently existing reports suggest that “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 FBI and CISA urge the American public to critically evaluate the sources of the information they consume and to seek out reliable and verified information from trusted sources, such as state and local election officials and reputable news media,” the advisory concludes.

Recently, researchers from Digital Forensic Research Lab and the Stanford Internet Observatory examined the content of six inauthentic networks linked to China and Iran that tweeted about the midterms. According to their findings, all networks masked as being from the US and tried to amplify strong views on polarizing issues in American politics. However, these networks did not receive much engagement on the platform.

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