The U.S. government plans to launch a program that focuses on protecting voter registration systems and databases before the 2020 presidential election after these systems were hacked in 2016 by Russian hackers seeking to gather information.
Intelligence officials are concerned that in 2020, foreign hackers will not only target databases but will try to manipulate, disrupt or destroy data.
Christopher Krebs, director of CISA, said: “It is clear that state and provincial governments are targets of ransomware attacks, and accordingly, we work with election officials to protect databases and respond to potential ransomware requests”.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a statement supporting the Homeland Security initiative “It is essential that states and municipalities limit the availability of information on electoral systems and secure usable websites and databases”.
In 2017, ransomware requests were used to hide data deletion technology, making victim computers unusable at all. The attack called “NotPetya” was attributed to Russian infiltrators and continued to harm international companies, including FedEx and MAERSK.