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Amid Coronavirus Crisis, Cybereason Preps For Virus Voting Impact

‘We’ve actually already seen threat actors using this pandemic situation when targeting remote workforce as well as consumers, and I think it’s certainly plausible to believe that they will try to target the primary elections, or even the presidential elections,’ Cybereason’s Israel Barak says.

As countries across the world scramble to escape the coronavirus crisis, one Boston-based cybersecurity vendor says the integrity of the electoral process is also at risk.

“We’ve actually already seen threat actors using this pandemic situation when targeting remote workforce as well as consumers, and I think it’s certainly plausible to believe that they will try to target the primary elections, or even the presidential elections, and specific communities that might be in swing states or districts to try to sway the election results by leveraging the coronavirus, or information, disinformation around the coronavirus,” said Cybereason CISO Israel Barak.

Facts Over Fear

The total number of global reported COVID-19 cases has surpassed 200,000, including more than 7,000 fatalities.

“In the past week, we have seen a rapid escalation of cases of COVID-19. More cases and deaths have now been reported in the rest of the world than in China,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general for the World Health Organization (WHO) in a media briefing on COVID-19, Monday.

He said they’ve also seen a global response in social distancing measures, like closing schools and canceling sporting events, and other gatherings.

“But we have not seen an urgent enough escalation in testing, isolation, and contact tracing, which is the backbone of the response,” said Ghebreyesus. “As I keep saying, ‘All countries must take a comprehensive approach,’ but the most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is breaking the chains of transmission.”

And to do that he stressed, “you must test and isolate.”

“We have a simple message for all countries, ‘Test, test, test,” Ghebreyesus added.

Spreading Doubt Amongst Voters

Cybereason offers election hacking exercises, not only to its customers, but to federal, state and local officials, looking at different possibilities where hackers could disrupt a vote during an election.

There are two teams, ethical hackers, who represent the Red Team, and first responders, who represent the Blue Team.

“In some of our recent exercises, the pandemic situation was a scenario floated by the Red Team and required the Blue Team, the first responders, to confront with that,” Barak told CRN. “Disinformation around pandemic, disinformation around other health related issues… [are examples of how hackers can] get voters to not get to the voting center,” Barak told CRN.

Addressing Coronavirus Concerns

“The first thing is we communicate with our own internal workforce, as well as with our customers and partners, how we operate and how we maintain proper business continuity throughout this crisis,” said Barak.

Barak told CRN, having pandemic situations built into their program has “luckily” prepared them for the worst.

“And so we’re able to keep delivering our services, our support, our managed services as well as maintain every other aspect of our operations, despite that crisis,” he added.

Head over to CRNtv to learn more.

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