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Election officials are thinking about ransomware

State election officials said Tuesday that they’ve been watching how their state governments have responded to incidents like ransomware attacks as lessons on what they would do if the voter registration databases, vote-total reporting systems and other components of election infrastructure that they manage were targeted. At a conference hosted by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the top election officials from Texas and Louisiana — both of which suffered widespread ransomware attacks last year — said those incidents served as "real-life fire drills," the lessons of which need to trickle down to their local counterparts who are responsible for managing voter rolls and polling places. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Three states and counting

Alex Pettit, who's previously served as chief information officer in Oklahoma and Oregon, is putting another state under his belt as the new chief technology officer for Colorado. In an interview with StateScoop, Pettit, who started in his new job Monday, said he's excited to explore what Colorado can do with emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence. Colin Wood has more.

Intel community to brief states on election threats

Also at the EAC conference Tuesday, Shelby Pierson, the election threats executive at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that state officials will be getting a fresh briefing this week on the top cyberthreats to the U.S. electoral process. Pierson said that the briefing will cover the full gamut of cyberthreats to elections, including those coming from Iran. Sean Lyngaas reports for CyberScoop.

California budget goes big on wildfire tech

Alongside new funding for education, housing and health care, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing the state provide additional support to its fire response teams, including creating a Threat Intelligence Integration Center to analyze wildfire risk. “California can and must do more to tackle these challenges and fortify our future,” he writes in his 2020 plan. Colin has details.

Time to level up your 'smart city' tech, says Baltimore DevOps chief

Even as technology companies develop more “smart city” solutions, the City of Baltimore still isn’t taking full advantage of its disparate data-collecting devices to glean insights into public safety and environmental problems, Jet Lu, Baltimore’s director of digital DevOps, said Tuesday. Speaking at the Cloudera Data Cloud Summit presented by FedScoop, Lu said that Baltimore, like other cities, is missing out on valuable analysis by deploying “level 1” internet-of-things solutions — devices that collect and store data, but aren’t on any network and have no built-in data analysis capabilities, like Baltimore’s smart trash cans or its CitiWatch video surveillance program. Ryan Johnston has more.

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