Hackers were less active than security experts had anticipated during last month’s midterm elections, but the federal government should still continue its assistance to state and local election security, according to Judd Choate, director of the division of elections at Colorado’s department of state. “Many states need money, they need assistance,” Mr. Choate told security experts Tuesday at the WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Executive Forum in New York. Russian hackers’ dialed back their activity this year after attempting to interfere in the 2016 election and leaking stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, he said. Despite the lack of high-profile cyber threats around this year’s midterm elections, there are signs that hackers will use more sophisticated tactics to interfere in 2020, officials said. Robby Mook, campaign manager for Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign, predicted that attackers will deploy so-called deep fake videos to sow confusion around the next presidential election, using artificial intelligence to create doctored videos and images that appear realistic.
Campaigns are vulnerable to cyber attackers because they lack funding and expertise to defend their systems, Mr. Mook said.
“We still have a challenge that it’s expensive to secure your campaign and campaign people are not cybersecurity experts. They’re never going to be and they can’t afford to hire someone who is,” he added.