NSA deploys Election Security Group to protect midterm elections

Russian and North Korean hackers have been prominent sources of cyberattacks throughout the year

Updated: August 31, 2022 - 6:09pm

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The National Security Agency and Cyber Command has deployed its Election Security Group (ESG) to combat foreign cyber operations aimed at disrupting U.S. elections ahead of the November midterm contests.

“Thousands of people are going to work every day to defend the elections from foreign threats, from generating insights to sharing information to imposing costs by degrading and disrupting foreign adversary activity,” ESG spokesperson Katrina Cheesman said to the Washington Times.

The team traces its roots to a small group of specialists created to combat Russian election interference during the 2018 midterms, according to the outlet. At that time, pundits and politicians were pushing a narrative that the Trump campaign actively conspired with agents of the Russian government to hand the 2016 presidential election to the Republican.

Russian and North Korean hackers have been prominent sources of cyberattacks throughout the year, even prior to Moscow's February invasion of Ukraine.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency earlier in February warned of Russian efforts to target U.S. defense contractors. 

North Korean hackers in April reportedly pulled off a large-scale cryptocurrency theft of Etherium amounting to $620 million U.S.D.