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The White House, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and other American security services believe that Russian hackers are preparing cyber attacks in order to undermine the election process in the United States. The attacks may be similar to those conducted in Montenegro on 16 October when general elections took place, NBC News reports. CdM was among the targeted portals that day.
Officials are alert for any attempts to create Election Day chaos, and say steps are being taken to prepare for worst-case scenarios, including a cyber-attack that shuts down part of the power grid or the internet, NBC carried.
“The Russians are in an offensive mode and the U.S. is working on strategies to respond to that. This is something that we expect here. They will target whatever they can — voting infrastructure, putting out false stories about the Democratic Party intentionally manipulating the results. That’s what they do”, the article says.
However, NBC sources said that a lower-level effort is more likely and it can be expected that hackers peddle misinformation by manipulating Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, as it was the case recently in Montenegro.
The Russians “want to sow as much confusion as possible and undermine our process in ways they’ve done elsewhere”, a senior Obama administration official told NBC.
“We need to be prepared on every front, not just technical but messaging, and so on”, the official added
A recent case study, the official said, was the October 16 parliamentary election in Montenegro.
“The Democratic Party of Socialists narrowly won although it faced stiff and well-financed opposition from a pro-Russian coalition. U.S. officials believe Russia secretly funnelled money to opposition parties and either set up or co-opted friendly media outlets and ‘influencers’ to highlight the risks of joining NATO. During the election, Russia launched a coordinated disinformation campaign using traditional and social media, thus trying to influence the voters by creating confusion among the people”, NBC News says.
On the other hand, Russia publicly denied that it would interfere with the elections in the United States.
Source: Cafe Del Montenegro