New York launches drills to thwart election hacking

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal and New York state officers say they may maintain drills within the weeks main as much as major elections for the U.S. Home and Senate to forestall hacking and different cyber threats to voting methods, officers stated on Wednesday.

The workout routines, which can start in Albany on Thursday, come amid heightened scrutiny of the nation’s voting methods following Russian hacking within the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“The folks of New York deserve an open, clear election course of they’ll belief, and these workout routines are an integral a part of restoring voter confidence and the integrity of our election infrastructure,” Governor Andrew Cuomo stated in a press release.

Russian hackers probed methods in 21 states through the presidential race, however solely a small variety of networks had been compromised, the Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) stated final 12 months. There isn’t a proof any vote was altered.

New York elections officers have stated the state was not amongst these with compromised methods.

The U.S. Division of Homeland Safety and New York’s State Board of Elections will host the cyber safety conferences in six New York areas by means of June 18, a couple of week forward of the state’s federal major elections. Different New York officers, in addition to native authorities staff and state police, will attend the closed-door conferences.

The workout routines contain simulations of potential voting system assaults, together with so-called ransomware pc infections and social media manipulation – wherein false data aimed toward skewing elections is posted on-line.

New York would be the first within the nation to carry such conferences, Cuomo’s workplace stated.

The state’s cyber safety drills are among the many early phases a multi-pronged elections safety program authorised on Could 3.

The broader plan will depend on $5 million in state funds and as much as roughly $19.5 million in federal grants made obtainable in response to Russian election interference.

Data collected within the workout routines might be used to assist establish and reply to vulnerabilities and dangers surrounding the state’s voting methods, Cuomo’s assertion stated.

Reporting by Laila Kearney; Modifying by Daniel Bases and Lisa Shumaker

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