U.S. state election officials are demanding better access to sometimes classified federal government information about hacking threats to voting systems. With less than three months until the November midterm elections, 44 states, the District of Columbia, and numerous counties on Wednesday participated in a simulation that tested the ability of state and federal officials to work together to stop data breaches, disinformation and other voting-related security issues. They did not simulate a cyber attack, but rather played out various scenarios to learn how to react if there were one. The Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, U.S. Cyber Command, Justice Department and the FBI participated.
Matthew Masterson, a DHS senior advisor, told Reuters it will be important to help election officials before November elections understand “how information goes from a classified structure to declassified and out to the states.”
Part of solving that problem is getting security clearances for state election officials. “The fact that we have state officials with clearances and the ability to share classified information is critical,” he said, “but our goal is to get out as much information as possible and to share it as broadly as we can. So we’re working through that.”