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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The U.S. "disrupted a concerted effort to undermine the midterm elections" in 2018, writes NSA Director and head of U.S. Cyber Command Paul Nakasone, along with senior Cyber Command adviser Michael Sulmeyer, in Foreign Affairs.

Why it matters: Nakasone and Sulmeyer reveal that lessons from those incidents are being used to protect November's election from foreign interference.

  • Experts at the NSA and Cyber Command "formed the Russia Small Group (RSG), a task force created to ensure that democratic processes were executed unfettered by Russian activity."
  • "It shared indicators of potential compromise, enabling DHS to harden the security of election infrastructure."
  • "It also shared threat indicators with the FBI to bolster that organization’s efforts to counter foreign trolls on social media platforms."

Go deeper

Acting DHS chief: "No indications" of foreign interference in voting

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool via Getty

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said on Tuesday there is no evidence so far that a “foreign actor” compromised votes in the 2020 election, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Since Russians interfered with the 2016 election and hacked the emails of Democratic officials, the country has been antsy about a potential repeat in an already closely contested election.

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Most Americans are still vulnerable to the coronavirus

Adapted from Bajema, et al., 2020, "Estimated SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in the US as of September 2020"; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

As of September, the vast majority of Americans did not have coronavirus antibodies, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Why it matters: As the coronavirus spreads rapidly throughout most of the country, most people remain vulnerable to it.