The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in coordination with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), hosted the nation’s annual election security exercise last week, bringing together federal, state, local, and private sector partners for the fourth annual Tabletop the Vote. More than 1,000 participants ran through hypothetical scenarios affecting election operations to share practices around cyber and physical incident planning, preparedness, identification, response, and recovery.
During the 2020 presidential election, Maryland’s Anne Arundel County Board of Elections partnered with a provider of cloud-based video surveillance and analytics to provide live, 24-7 video surveillance for 32 ballot boxes throughout the county to deter nefarious activities.
We live in a digital age, yet voting remains woefully outdated. The nation’s recent experience holding a presidential election during a pandemic highlights how important it is to modernize the voting process. The benefits of transitioning to online voting are numerous, including easier access as voters would no longer be required to wait in long lines and greater efficiency as votes would be tabulated electronically.
Digital Shadows has identified a post on the English-speaking cybercriminal forum, RaidForums, alleging to possess a complete 2020 Wisconsin voter database. The author of the post provided a free download link to a database containing statewide voter and absentee data acquired from the "Badger Voters" site, a website established by the State of Wisconsin Elections Commission.
The members of Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) Executive Committee - Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), released a statement noting that the 2020 election was the most secure in American history.
Chris Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said that after the final day of voting and with millions of votes cast, the federal government has "no evidence any foreign adversary was capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies."
While the first thing that may come to mind is attacks on voter booths and polling data, hackers were expected to hit more vulnerable targets first, such as community-based organizations and systems supporting political campaigns.
These networks are rarely designed to withstand the ransomware threats much larger, established political bodies face, and hackers know it.
Here, we talk to Doug Matthews, Vice President of Product Management for Veritas, about the conditions impacting data protection during the election period.
Potentially disruptive, and possibly violent, protests are likely in multiple U.S. cities amid the presidential election slated for today regardless of the outcome, according to WorldAware, a GardaWorld company. Due to the complexity of the electoral system and the consequences of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, it is highly likely that the winner of the election will not be legally recognized on election night and that major protests by activists supportive of both major parties will occur for an indeterminate period, with the possibility of clashes, arson, looting, and other violence, reaching unprecedented levels, says WorldAware.
Besides civil unrest and other physical security threats, the 2020 election also faces significant digital threats that could wreck havoc on U.S. election infrastructure and the legitimacy of the results.
Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director R. James Woolsey Jr., a veteran of four presidential administrations and one of the nation’s leading intelligence experts, believes we should be worried about election security on a number of levels — though he says there are some relatively easy fixes. Woolsey discusses security threats surrounding the voting process, measures that can be put in place to mitigate those risks, as well as the biggest security threat to the U.S. outside of election security.
As we head into the final day before the 2020 election, disinformation on social media continues to make headlines as a means to sway public opinion and to discourage people from voting. For example, swing states have been targeted with evolving disinformation tactics in an attempt to influence what happens in the voting booth, while Black and Latino voters have been flooded with messages aimed to depress turnout by fueling cynicism and distrust in the political process.