Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Cyber Protections Contemplated For U.s. Election Systems

View as: Print Mobile App Share:

The Obama administration is considering bolstering cyber protections for U.S. election systems by putting them under the critical infrastructure classification the Department of Homeland Security is charged to protect.

Credit: Federal Computer Week

Following repeated hacks of Democratic National Committee systems by attackers who could be associated with the Russian government, the Obama administration is considering boosting cyber protections for U.S. election systems by classifying them as critical infrastructure, which would put them under the protection of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

"We have to carefully consider whether our election system is critical infrastructure, like the financial system or the power grid," says DHS secretary Jeh Johnson.

Assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism Lisa Monaco says the reaction to those who hack election systems in the U.S. might resemble what happened in response to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which crossed a threshold into being destructive and coercive. She notes the U.S. government attributed the Sony attack to North Korea and hit the country with sanctions.

In addition, the government also prosecuted Chinese military personnel who hacked into U.S. companies' systems to steal data, and recently indicted Iranian hackers for a series of cyberattacks.

Monaco says a deliberate intrusion to coerce or influence the U.S. political process is a "serious, serious issue," which could require a new type of response.

From Federal Computer Week
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account