The headline for this article read “2020 campaigns get Trump administration help on cybersecurity, counterintelligence” which really concerned me, but after reading the article I am no longer worried.
Courtesy of NBC News:
Perched behind government computers at a site in Northern Virginia, hacking experts are scanning the networks of Democratic presidential campaigns, searching for vulnerabilities and openings to inject malicious code. For weeks at a time, they’re hitting campaign officials with phishing emails not unlike those that Russian hackers used to infiltrate the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
The campaigns not only know about it — they’ve invited it, part of a sweeping effort by U.S. national security agencies to help campaigns of both parties protect themselves against cyberattacks, intelligence operations and physical threats ahead of the 2020 election. Those efforts come even while President Donald Trump, fighting for another term, continues to downplay the risk posed by foreign interference in U.S. elections.
As campaigns work to safeguard their websites, databases and email systems, the federal government has been providing defensive briefings to all the Democratic campaigns that will take them, U.S. and campaign officials tell NBC News.
The effort has involved the FBI, the Homeland Security Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees all the U.S. spy agencies.
Like I said when I first saw that headline my immediate reaction was “You fools it’s a trap!”
But after reading through the article it was clear that this is a service being provided by intellignece agencies legitimately poised to fight intrusion by foreign governments into our 2020 elections.
Trump may be able to manipulate the heads of some of these agencies, but my guess is that the agents on the ground are likely dedicated professionals who just want to protect our democracy.
The idea that they might use knowledge they gain from helping these campaigns to assist the Trump campaign is a little too paranoid for me.
Besides if they did it is likely that the campaign’s own cybersecurity folks would immediately recognize what happened and call them out for it.
So what this really seems to be is the proactive response that we have all been calling for to help protect our election system.
And I for one welcome that.
There is still much more that needs to be done, but at least this is something.