With the midterm elections of 2018 fewer than 12 months away, Congress is showing heightened concern over the potential for disastrous cyber attacks on the nation’s electronic voting systems.

In a bipartisan effort, Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is looking to protect elections from cyberattacks and propaganda. The Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook, released today, gives campaign officials simple, actionable information to better secure campaign information from adversaries attempting to use cyberattacks.






The City of Baltimore hired former Intel executive Frank Johnson as its new CIO and chief digital officer. Along with the new hire, Baltimore has also expanded the CIO’s job description–and salary. Johnson will be now be tasked with modernizing the city’s computer systems across agencies, tackling the city’s reliance on paper, and ensuring data security, as well as working on mayoral initiatives. 






The Department of Homeland Security met with the Election Infrastructure Coordinating Council to discuss risk management tactics for election cybersecurity. The council is working to build partnerships to keep election systems secure.






Washington CIO Michael Cockrill is moving to the private sector later this month. After being appointed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in 2013, Cockrill oversaw the creation of Washington Technology Solutions, the agency created in 2015 to centralize state IT and improve services for the people of Washington through technology. Cockrill spoke with MeriTalk State and Local about his time as CIO and the jump to rejoin the private sector.






A hacker grouped named Dragonfly 2.0 has gained access to several companies that supply electricity to the U.S. power grid, according to Symantec. The new wave of cyberattacks could give attackers the means to severely disrupt affected operations centers in Europe and North America. Dragonfly 2.0 has been in operation since at least 2011 and is linked to the Russian government.






Research published by SecurityScorecard found that though Federal and state governments have improved their cybersecurity since the rating system’s last report, they still fall behind the rankings of most industries in the U.S.






A Barracuda report released Aug. 30 said that bad actors are using spear-phishing, account compromise, and insider impersonation to target Office 365 users.






The United States needs to invest more resources in the security of election systems, Cook County (Ill.) Director of Elections Noah Praetz told the Election Assistance Commission.






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