FBI SF helping CA find cybersecurity threats ahead of election

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Sunday, October 9, 2022
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San Francisco's FBI Cybersecurity branch is looking for election cybersecurity threats on every level. Election Day in California is Nov. 8, 2022.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Election Day in California is Nov. 8, 2022.

California residents usually receive ballots a few weeks prior.

Now more than ever, there is a concern when it comes to elections and cyber security threats.

The FBI says since 2020 there has been an increase in cyber crimes and ransomware attacks across the U.S.

San Francisco's FBI Cybersecurity branch is looking for election cybersecurity threats on every level.

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That covers the mail-in ballots, ballot counting machines and the voter registration database, which is online.

"People register to vote online now, which is super convenient. However, there's all this personal information that is located on the internet. What the FBI does is help counties and the state safeguards these websites. We ensure they're using best practices for cyber security and if we see anything from our investigations, we share it with them so they can protect their networks," said Elvis Chan, FBI San Francisco assistant special agent in charge of the Cyber Branch.

Chan says the election ballot machines are not connected to the internet so cyber criminals can't hack into them.

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Chan also reports that as of right now there are no credible threats but they warn that criminals are using deep-fakes technology.

It's a technology that allows anyone to be impersonated, which can lead to false information being given by someone who may seem credible.

The FBI advises every voter to do what they already know: "If you see something, say something".

For the upcoming elections that could be something unusual at the ballot drop box or with your mail-in ballot.

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