CISA: No US Voter Registration Breaches This Year

The head of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been forced to deny Russian reports that US voter registration information has been circulating on the dark web.

Russian newspaper Kommersant claimed in a story yesterday that a database of 7.6 million Michigan voters was posted to the dark web, as well as millions more related to voters from Florida, Connecticut, North Carolina and Arkansas.

However, the Michigan Department of State responded swiftly to the story, reportedly confirming that the data in question was publicly available via Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.   

In a statement on Twitter a few hours ago, CISA director, Chris Krebs, joined the official debunking of the claims.

“My main takeaway: it’s going to be critical over the next few months to maintain our cool and not spin up over every claim. The last measure of resilience is the American voter,” he said.

An official statement from the CISA and FBI claimed the two “have not seen cyber-attacks this year on voter registration databases or on any systems involving voting.”

“Information on US elections is going to grab headlines, particularly if it is cast as foreign interference. Early, unverified claims should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism,” it continued.

“More importantly, we encourage voters to look to trusted sources of information, in this case state election officials who have correctly pointed out that a lot of voter registration data is publicly available or easily purchased.”

The incident came as Facebook and Twitter took action to remove the social media profiles associated with Russian ‘news’ site PeaceData, which has been linked to the notorious state-backed misinformation-peddler the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

In Facebook’s case it involved taking down 13 Facebook accounts and two pages.

“This activity focused primarily on the US, UK, Algeria and Egypt, in addition to other English-speaking countries and countries in the Middle East and North Africa,” it said. “We began this investigation based on information about this network’s off-platform activity from the FBI. Our internal investigation revealed the full scope of this network on Facebook.”

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