U.S. intel prepared to sanction any company or individual interfering with the 2018 midterms

Less than a week before the United States 2018 midterm elections, concerns about meddling by Russia, China and Iran continue to mount. So much so that the U.S. government is prepared to sanction any entity involved in interference.

On Wednesday, a senior intelligence official told reporters over the phone that the U.S. government is monitoring for foreign interference in next week’s congressional elections, and that authorities are “prepared to sanction any company or individual involved in such activity,” according to VOA.

“We remain concerned about interference coming from Russia, China and Iran,” the official said in a discussion of government plans to prevent tampering with the Nov. 6 elections.

Intelligence agencies recently concluded that Moscow is actively trying to influence the outcome of the elections, to tip results in the Kremlin’s favor.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and intelligence will contribute to efforts for thwarting digital attacks on the election,” officials are cited as saying on the call.

Through the National Security Council, the White House will directly supervise and coordinate these efforts, the officials added.

Finally, the Justice Department is putting together an “election interference command post” to help authorities communicate with offices around the country in a time-efficient manner.

An expert on Chinese technology policy recently wrote in The New York Times that “China has both the playbook and the capacity to interfere’ in US elections,” but instead prefers to “cultivate common interests with powerful actors” – unlike Russia, which tends to “heighten political divisions to drive a wedge in the target society.”

And the U.S. Justice Department has recently unsealed charges against 10 Chinese spies, hackers and conspirators who allegedly sought to steal sensitive commercial airline and other trade secrets from U.S. and European companies.

While none of the alleged conspirators is in U.S. custody, officials said the conspiracy began in 2010 and ran for at least five years, before authorities were alerted to a piece of malware used in the operation. The campaign, thought to be state-sponsored, focused primarily on the theft of turbofan engine technology used in U.S. and European commercial jets, officials said.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Bitdefender Labs authored by Filip Truta. Read the original post at: https://labs.bitdefender.com/2018/11/u-s-intel-prepared-to-sanction-any-company-or-individual-interfering-with-the-2018-midterms/