Tag Archive : Election

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Virginia’s voter registration website went down on Tuesday, the final day for people in the state to register ahead of Election Day. As of early Tuesday afternoon, the website was still not working. 

“Due to a network outage, the Citizen Portal is temporarily unavailable,” the Virginia Department of Elections wrote on its site Tuesday morning. 

Officials said on Twitter that a “fiber cut” in Chester, near the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center, impacted connectivity for multiple state agencies. The cut cable, which appeared to be an accident, affected both the voting portal and the registrar’s offices. 

“We are working with our network providers to restore service as quickly as possible,” the department said. “Please check back later for your online voter registration or absentee needs.”

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Voters looking to register were directed to this statement from the Virginia Department of Elections during the outage on October 13, 2020.

Virginia Department of Elections

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Microsoft obtained a court order to disrupt the largest botnet in the world.


Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

A group of tech companies dismantled a powerful hacking tool used by Russian attackers just three weeks before the US presidential election. On Monday, Microsoft announced actions against Trickbot, a Russian botnet that’s infected more than a million computers since 2016 and that’s behind scores of ransomware attacks. 

Cybersecurity experts have raised concerns about ransomware attacks casting doubt on election results. While a ransomware attack wouldn’t change votes and could only lock up machines, the chaos stirred by a cyberattack could create uncertainty about the outcome of the results. 

Election officials in most states have offline backup measures in the event of a ransomware attack, but have a harder time tackling the disinformation that comes with getting hacked.

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Run by Russian-speaking criminals, the botnet poses a “theoretical but real” threat to election integrity by launching ransomware attacks, in which data is rendered inaccessible unless the victim pays a ransom, said Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president of customer security and trust.

Botnets are networks of computers secretly infected by malware that can be controlled remotely. They can be used to spread ransomware, as well as to send malicious spam email to unsuspecting recipients. Trickbot is malware that can steal financial and personal data, and drop other malicious software, such as ransomware, onto infected systems.

The fear isn’t that an attack could alter actual results, but rather that it could shake the confidence of voters, especially those already on edge from President Trump’s unfounded assaults on the integrity of mail-in ballots. “Having just a few precincts report that they got disrupted and locked up and people couldn’t vote or their

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Japan Stocks Look to Cap Fourth Weekly Gain After Rate Decisions

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

An expected surge in election-related volatility in the U.S. stock market is paving the way for Asian shares to make a run at besting their American peers.

Since hitting an all-time low relative to the S&P 500 on Sept. 2, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index has outperformed the U.S. benchmark by almost five percentage points. That nascent trend is expected to persist at least through the November poll and potentially beyond, according to strategists.

Asia-Pacific stocks languishing close to record relative low vs U.S.

“There is a better than average chance that Asian stocks will outperform U.S. stocks over the course of the next month,” said Eoin Murray, head of investment for international business at Federated Hermes. “The volatility rise will be more pronounced in U.S. risk assets, and will pervade more globally but with less strength.”

Fears about a contested election result and President Donald Trump’s decision not to push for further stimulus

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The effort is part of what Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of Cyber Command, calls “persistent engagement,” or the imposition of cumulative costs on an adversary by keeping them constantly engaged. And that is a key feature of CyberCom’s activities to help protect the election against foreign threats, officials said.

“Right now, my top priority is for a safe, secure, and legitimate 2020 election,” Nakasone said in August in a set of written responses to Washington Post questions. “The Department of Defense, and Cyber Command specifically, are supporting a broader ‘whole-of-government’ approach to secure our elections.”

Trickbot is malware that can steal financial data and drop other malicious software onto infected systems. Cyber criminals have used it to install ransomware, a particularly nasty form of malware that encrypts users’ data and for which the criminals then demand payment — usually in cryptocurrency — to unlock.

Brian Krebs, who writes the

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Between a pandemic and the 2020 presidential election, life in a cave is looking more and more viable these days.

That’s the appeal of a new stay found on Hotels.com, where they’re offering visitors a chance to “live under a rock” during the first week of November as a respite from the world’s ills.

Between Nov. 2 and 7, escapists can take cover in a design-inspired cave, carved out 50 feet below ground in New Mexico.

It’s the perfect opportunity for “those who are experiencing election stress disorder (this is a real thing!),” according to their website. And five nights at the inn costs just $25 plus tax — an “Abraham Lincoln-inspired” rate fit for a president of the late 19th century.

“After you’ve cast your ballot, you can check out of the newsfeed negativity and check in to a man-made cave,” the website continues.

The bedrock digs are booked

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Illustration for article titled Twitter Takes One More Crack at Preserving Democracy

Photo: Olivier DOULIERY / AFP (Getty Images)

Twitter on Friday announced changes that it hopes will limit the spread of disinformation surrounding the 2020 election, even if the bullshit is coming from inside the White House.

The tweaks are among the most aggressive by a major social media platform to muffle election-related misinformation to date. But with the future of American democracy hanging on a Donald Trump tweetstorm and mere weeks until Election Day, we’re all just going to have to cross our fingers that this does anything at all.

The first change to Twitter’s platform includes adding warning “prompts” to tweets with “misleading information” when users try to retweet them; users will also be encouraged to quote tweet—i.e., add their own commentary to a “disputed” tweet—rather than simply retweet the misleading information without additional context. Twitter won’t stop you from simply retweeting misinformation, but it hopes

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Twitter announced a slew of temporary changes on Friday aimed at staving off abuse around the November 3rd US presidential election. Tweets that include premature claims of victory will be labeled, tweets intended to incite interference in the election or election results will be subject to removal, and tweets from political figures with more than 100,000 followers — which includes President Trump — that are labeled as “misleading” will be more difficult to access.

“Twitter has a critical role to play in protecting the integrity of the election conversation, and we encourage candidates, campaigns, news outlets and voters to use Twitter respectfully and to recognize our collective responsibility to the electorate to guarantee a safe, fair and legitimate democratic process this November,” according to a blog post authored by Twitter legal, policy, and trust and safety lead Vijaya Gadde and product lead Kayvon Beykpour.

The temporary changes will put the

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Oct. 8 (UPI) — An accommodation-booking website is offering weary voters an escape from “election stress disorder” with the opportunity to “live under a rock” for the week of the election.

Hotels.com said the Nov. 2-7 stay in a man-made cave 50 feet below ground in New Mexico will be available to book on its website on a first-come, first-served basis at 9 a.m. Friday.

The website said the opportunity is perfect for “those who are experiencing election stress disorder (this is a real thing!).”

The five-night stay costs an “Abraham Lincoln-inspired” $5 per night.

“After you’ve cast your ballot, you can check out of the newsfeed negativity and check in to a man-made cave built 50 feet below ground,” the website said.

Hotels.com said it will also be offering a 20 percent discount on selected properties with “rock” in the name using the coupon code “UnderARock” starting Friday morning.

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Facebook on Wednesday said it will stop running political or social issue ads after the US polls close on November 3 to reduce chances of confusion or abuse.

The leading social network also said that any posts prematurely declaring a winner or contesting the count will be labeled with reliable information from news outlets and election officials.

“If a candidate or party declares premature victory before a race is called by major media outlets, we will add more specific information in the notifications that counting is still in progress and no winner has been determined,” said vice president of integrity Guy Rosen.

Facebook and other social networks have been tightening rules as they gear up for post-election scenarios, including efforts by President Donald Trump to wrongly claim victory or contend the outcome is not legitimate.

The California-based internet giant has been under pressure to avoid being used to spread misinformation

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