The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s disclosure earlier this month that foreign hackers had infiltrated voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona came as no surprise to some cybersecurity experts. “Given where cybercrime has gone, it’s not too surprising to think about how information risks might manifest themselves during the election season to cause some level of either potential disruption, change in voting, or even just political fodder to add the hype cycle,” says Malcolm Harkins, chief security and trust officer at network security firm Cylance. Growing concern that hackers sponsored by Russia or other countries may be attempting to disrupt the presidential election is certainly not far-fetched, given the recent data breach at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. In fact, hacking an election is shockingly easy, according to a report by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cybersecurity think tank. In most cases, electronic voting systems “are nothing but bare-bone, decade old computer systems that lack even rudimentary endpoint security,” according to the report. Security vulnerabilities are discussed every four years, but little attention is given to the problem. “It’s time for a complete overhaul in the electoral process’ cyber, technical and physical security,” the report concludes.
Earlier this month the FBI reported its most recent findings to election officials across the country and urged them to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems.
… The optics of the voter database breaches may be worse than the hacks themselves, says Dimitri Sirota, CEO of BigID. “Today, a foreign agent can’t completely alter elections because of how the vote count is fragmented across states and polls,” he says. However, “they can certainly subvert confidence in the election.” In fact, the discoveries may be a deliberate attempt to get discovered, he adds.
Illinois has perhaps the simplest solution for diverting future election hacking. The state’s voting machines aren’t connected to the internet, said Ken Menzel, general counsel for the elections board, in a television interview. “By keeping that system off the internet, you go a long way to protect it from internet hackers.”
Full Article: Can cybersecurity save the November elections? | CSO Online.