US boosting cyber defenses, but not police presence, for election

November 4, 2016 12:21

Federal and state authorities are beefing up cyber defenses against potential electronic attacks on voting systems ahead of US elections on Nov. 8, but taking few new steps to guard against possible civil unrest or violence.

The threat of computer hacking and the potential for violent clashes is darkening an already rancorous presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, amid fears that Russia or other actors could spread political misinformation online or perhaps tamper with voting.

To counter the cyber threat, all but two U.S. states have accepted help from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to probe and scan voter registration and election systems for vulnerabilities, a department official told Reuters.

Ohio has asked a cyber protection unit of the National Guard, a reserve force within the US military, for assistance to protect the state's systems.

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