Oct 15, 2018

DHS warns of escalation in election hacking attempts

Photo: Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call

A new Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment found there is a "growing volume of cyber activity targeting election infrastructure in 2018," NBC News’ Pete Williams and Ken Dilanian report.

Why it matters: Until now, U.S. intelligence officials, as well as officials from the DHS, have maintained that the attempted hacks observed this year have not been as "robust" as the attacks observed in 2016. Midterms are less than 30 days away now, but most states don't have plans to update election infrastructure before the midterms.

The details:

  • The attacks have been intensifying since April, and some attacks were detected as recently as early October, per NBC News.
  • The attacks have taken the form of sending malicious emails that appear to be legitimate and conducting denial of service attacks — but the motive varies from causing disruption to stealing sensitive data to undermining confidence in the election, per DHS.
  • The government does not know who is behind the attacks, per NBC News.

What they're saying: “Due to improved relationships between DHS and our state and local election partners, our partners have increased their reporting of what they are seeing to DHS, which is contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of the threats facing our nation’s election infrastructure," a DHS official said in an emailed statement to Axios. "This does not necessarily mean that our partners are seeing an increase in threats to their networks ... As we have consistently said, we have not seen any activity of the scale or level of coordination that we saw in 2016."

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Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Local news footage captured a tanker truck appearing to drive toward protesters at a peaceful demonstration in Minneapolis, as demonstrators quickly got out of the way of the incoming vehicle on Sunday evening.

The big picture: Protests have continued across the country for six days, as demonstrators call for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd and other other black Americans who have died in police custody or who have been killed in racist attacks.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck appears to plow into Minneapolis protesters

A tanker truck appears to have driven toward thousands of protesters during a demonstration in Minneapolis, video from the scene shows.

Details: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck."

  • The incident happened as protesters gathered at the Interstate 35W Bridge across the Mississippi River just before 6 p.m. on Sunday, per CBS Minnesota.
  • Gov. Tim Walz had "ordered highways and interstates to start closing at 5 p.m.," according to the Star Tribune.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").