Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray held a hasty press conference last night to discuss security concerns with the US presidential election. The men stated the US intelligence community believes US voter information has been stolen by Iran and Russia. There is no evidence that the information obtained by Russia has been used to attempt to influence US voters, but that assessment may change if new information comes to light. Iran was accused by Ratcliffe to have used the stolen information to send threating emails to voters registered as democrats, telling them to vote for President Trump. The alleged emails are spoofed to appear to come from the violent extremist group, the Proud Boys. In a second wave of emails, US voters received a link to a video showing an individual who used someone else’s information to print out an election ballot. Wray addressed the video explaining it is simply not true.
The US Government has been warning voters of influence campaigns for the last several months. Cyber analysts have called this most recent scheme from Iran, an unusual escalation. That being said it is likely this is the first of many campaigns as we get closer to election day. It is important to always validate sources of information and do not open links from unknown email addresses. If an email is threatening in nature, alert the appropriate law enforcement agency. Most legitimate organizations will not ask you to validate personal information via email. If you do receive a request, contact the organization using a published phone number or email address, rather than responding to the email that was sent to you.