President Trump Fires CISA Cyber Boss Chris Krebs

Outgoing President Donald Trump has fired the man who oversaw the security and cyber defences of the recent US Presidential election.

President Trump has refused to concede that he has lost the election to President elect Joe Biden, and has he had continued to make unsubstantiated claims of ‘massive’ voter fraud.

But the director of the Homeland Security agency responsible for overseeing the cyber defences of the US and the recent election publicly disagreed with President Trump.

Cyber firing

This put Chris Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa) on a direct collision course with Trump, after Krebs told CNN for example there “is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

In response President Trump opted for his favoured policy for dealing with anyone who disagrees with him.

“The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud – including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, “glitches” in the voting machines which changed…” he tweeted.

“…votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more,” Trump added. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”

Twitter placed a warning label on the US President’s tweets, saying “this claim about election fraud is disputed.”

US election officials have continued to insist that the recent vote was the “most secure” in US history.

The role of Cisa was to work with US state and local election officials and the private companies that supply voting systems, while monitoring ballots and the power grid.

Widely respected

Krebs appears to be widely respected across agencies, and he is a former Microsoft executive who had been appointed by President Trump.

Krebs it should be noted is the latest US official to be fired after the election defeat after the President also recently terminated US Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Krebs reportedly learned of his firing when he saw the president’s tweet on Tuesday, but it seems he had no regrets.

“Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow. #Protect2020,” Krebs tweeted.

And his firing drew reaction from other senior officials, both in the US and in the UK.

“Christopher Krebs is a deeply respected cybersecurity expert who worked diligently to safeguard our elections,” tweeted Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House. “Instead of rewarding this patriotic service, the President has fired Director Krebs for speaking truth to power & rejecting Trump’s campaign of election falsehoods.”

A spokesman for President-elect Joe Biden was quoted by the BBC as saying “Chris Krebs should be commended for his service in protecting our elections, not fired for telling the truth.”

In the UK meanwhile the former head of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Ciaran Martin, added his support for Krebs.

“Not seeking to distract attention from the wider issues, but I just want to put on record a tribute to the outstanding service of @CISAKrebs,” Martin tweeted. “He’s been the best partner an ally could hope for. People in (US and UK) and beyond are safer online because of his work and leadership.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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