US officials “continue to see no specific or credible threat to disrupt election infrastructure” as polls open across the country for the midterm elections, a senior US cybersecurity official told reporters Tuesday morning.
Officials have not seen any significant hacking activity on Election Day that they can attribute to any given hacking group, an official from the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency told reporters in a background briefing.
Officials are expecting the possibility of low-level cyberattacks that may temporarily knock state and local websites offline, but nothing that will prevent voters from casting a ballot, the CISA official said.
“We continue to remain in high confidence in the security or resilience of the elections,” the official added.
US Cyber Command, the Defense Department’s hacking unit, and the National Security Agency are “sharing real-time” intelligence with government agencies to help defend the midterm elections from foreign threats, the four-star general who heads both operations said in a statement Tuesday.
“We continue to refine what we learned from the 2018 and 2020 elections,” Gen. Paul Nakasone said. “We generate insight to enable defense of the homeland, and ultimately impose costs by degrading and exposing foreign adversary capabilities and operations.”
Cyber Command has taken a much more active role in defending US elections from foreign interference since Russia’s 2016 intervention. That included an operation during the 2018 midterm elections that temporarily blocked internet access for a notorious Russia troll farm.
Nakasone reiterated what US intelligence officials have said for weeks: They are wary of foreign influence campaigns that continue after Election Day as the vote tallies come in.
“Our work does not end on Nov. 8,” Nakasone said.
Twelve states activated National Guard troops for local and state-level cyber election support, according to a Defense Department spokesperson.
Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, New Mexico, West Virginia and Washington state activated National Guard troops for cyber election support. A total of 92 members were activated across the 12 states to assist, the spokesperson added.
During election primaries in May and June, the National Guard provided cyber support to eight states, the spokesperson added.
CNN's Barbara Starr and Ellie Kaufman contributed reporting to this post.