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Published 29 September 2020

·  The Election Threats That Keep US Intelligence Up at Night

·  Here Are Five Big Things Election Experts Are Really Worried About

·  Save the Children? Extremist Conspiracy Movement QAnon Fabricates Pedophile Claims against Biden as Election Looms

·  Texas Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills 6-Year-Old Boy

·  Israel, UAE Say They’re Allies in Cyberspace. They Have Plenty of Tech Power to Draw Upon.

·  Making the U.S. Military’s Counter-Terrorism Mission Sustainable

·  A Ransomware Attack Has Struck a Major US Hospital Chain

The Election Threats That Keep US Intelligence Up at Night (Lilly Hay Newman, Wired)
Government officials have increasingly sounded alarms on the risks of foreign interference and disinformation campaigns leading up to—and after—November 3.

Here Are Five Big Things Election Experts Are Really Worried About (Joseph Marks with Tonya Riley, Washington Post)
President Trump has claimed repeatedly without evidence that mail ballots will undermine the integrity of the election. But for election experts, the extremely low chance of any successful mail-ballot fraud is not even close to their top concern.
“When I talk to election security people, they’re not worried about mail ballots,” Mark Lindeman, interim co-director of the election security organization Verified Voting, told me. “I haven’t seen anyone present a really plausible scenario about how you steal a lot of votes at scale with mail ballots.”
With just over five weeks to go until the election, experts are far more concerned about hackers from Russia or elsewhere modifying voter rolls, technical snafus that could produce long lines at polling sites, and foreign and domestic disinformation campaigns that shake voters’ confidence in the democratic process.
They’re also extremely worried Trump himself will exploit any Election Day difficulties or slower-than-usual vote counting to prematurely claim victory and undermine faith in the outcome. And, in a chilling sign of how heated the dispute over election measures has become this year, they fear the possibility of violence at polling sites or targeting poll workers.

Save the Children? Extremist Conspiracy Movement QAnon Fabricates Pedophile Claims against Biden as Election Looms (Jessica Guynn, USA Today)
President Donald Trump recently shared a tweet with his 86 million followers that accused his Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden of being a pedophile.
It was not the first time that the baseless smear came out of the Trump camp. On Instagram in May, the president’s eldest son and campaign surrogate Donald Trump Jr. made a similar insinuation, which he later claimed was a joke. 
How did unfounded allegations of pedophilia infiltrate American political life? They are a central tenet of the extremist conspiracy movement QAnon whose followers believe that Trump is a messianic figure battling a “deep state” of devil-worshipping, child-molesting Democrats.

Texas Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills 6-Year-Old Boy (ABC13)
The little boy whose fight against a rare but fatal brain-eating amoeba was honored Saturday, hours after officials warned residents not to drink water from the city’s supply. Josiah McIntyre, 6, died after fighting an infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis, which is caused by Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic organism. His death prompted city leaders in Lake Jackson to order tests of water samples and close a local splashpad as a precaution.

Israel, UAE Say They’re Allies in Cyberspace. They Have Plenty of Tech Power to Draw Upon. (Sean Lyngaas, Cyberscoop)
Israel and the United Arab Emirates say they are collaborating to track and block cyberthreats in a region where hacking remains rampant.
For two countries that have invested heavily in offensive hacking tools in recent years, it’s a recognition that collective defense could be more effective than going it alone. The cooperation, which officials are touting just weeks after the countries normalized diplomatic relations, involves spotting hacking threats that could affect both countries and exchanging intelligence among government cybersecurity experts.

Making the U.S. Military’s Counter-Terrorism Mission Sustainable (Stephen Tankel, War on the Rocks)
One of the many hallmarks of the Trump administration has been its capricious approach to troops deployments, especially ones related to counter-terrorism. President Donald Trump has zigged and zagged on whether to maintain troops in AfghanistanIraq, and Syria, sometimes sending Pentagon planners scrambling to keep up. Over the weekend, his administration threatened to pull out U.S. forces from Iraq as a way to pressure the government there to rein in Iran-backed militia groups. Meanwhile, in the background, Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been conducting a review of each combatant command to ensure they have the right mix of personnel and resources to meet the 2018 National Defense Strategy’s priorities. The review has not been entirely devoid of drama. It advocates reducing the U.S. military footprint in Africa, a move that has engendered pushback from Congress and U.S. allies. One should not equate Trump’s manic demands, which appear driven almost entirely by electoral calculations, with Esper’s more sober review, but both highlight the challenges of reducing the military’s counter-terrorism mission.

A Ransomware Attack Has Struck a Major US Hospital Chain(Lily Hay Newman, Wired)
“All computers are completely shut down,” one Universal Health Services employee told WIRED.