Posted on November 3, 2020 at 5:59 PM
U.S. cybersecurity officials said they have intensified efforts to hunt down cyber criminals from Iran, China, and Russia, because they pose serious threats to the elections.
They are consolidating on their previous operations in 2018, as the Cyber Commend sent teams to the Middle East, Asia, and Europe to find out the operational methods and patterns of their adversaries. According to the U.S. Cyber Command, the teams were also sent to discover how the adversaries want to threaten the elections this year.
The election is will be held today, 3 November and the Cyber Command has discovered that foreign adversaries are threatening to disrupt the election.
The military officials also said they have sent teams to North Korea on a mission to find relevant information to track their cybercrime unit and prevent them from interfering in the elections.
Efforts already yielding results
Although Cyber Command refused to give more details about current progress made, some of the officials said the expansion of operations to the regions have started yielding results. The efforts have revealed the type of malware used presently used by the notorious hacking groups from the adversaries. The information has been provided to other agencies to help both local and state officials inform the public and improve their electoral defense systems.
Cyber Command has also sent a team of experts to partner with their allied nations. The partnership will help discover and eradicate any hostile interference on their government of military operations.
The partnership is also beneficial to the allied nations as it will help strengthen their operations against state-sponsored criminals in their respective countries.
For the U.S., the expansion of operations provides the experts with more knowledge and early insight into the activities of their adversary hackers, as Cyber Command has explained. It will help them find out the tactics the hackers may even use in the future to launch an attack on American institutions.
The operation to nab these state-sponsored cybercriminals began two years ago, but the U.S. Cyber Command has recently expanded the operations to quickly identified the tools the hackers are using to break into computer systems.
As the U.S. Election draws closer, some state-sponsored hackers have been identified who are determined to disrupt the election. There have been various reports on the activities of the hackers targeting prominent politicians as well as the campaign teams of Joe Bidden and Donald Trump, the two presidential candidates for the election on November 3.
The U.S. military’s offensive and defensive operations online are handled by the Cyber Command. The unit has not been very active until during the 2018 midterm elections when the unit became more aggressive in its approach to stop hackers.
Apart from expanding its operations to these countries, the unit also delivered warning messages to Russian trolls before the election D-day. To show it means business with its threats, the unit launched its first offensive operation in Moscow by taking down one of the troll farms and completely taking it offline.
Cybercriminals may influence vote
The operation in 2018 was centered mostly on Russia, based on the information about the operations. However, this time the unit has decided to expand to other countries where hackers have equally increased their threats against U.S organizations and elections.
U.S. officials have described the activities of Russian, Chinese, as well as Russian hackers, as having a direct influence on votes.
Deputy Head of Cyber Command, Lt. Gen. Charles Moore, revealed that the unit has increased its operational framework to other major adversaries.
“Since 2018, we have expanded our hunt forward operations to all major adversaries,” he said in an interview.
Catching the bad guys at their backyard
The Cyber Command unit has also called on its allies to help fight enemy hackers who will stop at nothing to influence the U.S. elections to their favor.
The operational framework is to have access to the hackers’ networks. After having access, the goal is to identify and neutralize the attack before they are launched.
General Moore reiterated that Cyber Command expanded its operations because it wants to find the hackers and neutralize them in their home. According to him, “We want to take down the archer rather than dodge the arrows.”