National: Elections at Risk in Cyberspace, Part III: Vote Database Security Ultimately Could Determine an Election Result | SIGNAL Magazine

Any attempts to sabotage an election through cyber attacks ultimately would be geared to affecting the vote count, either to change the outcome of the race or to sow doubt on the validity of the election itself. Just as banks strive to secure their depositors’ assets, governments also work to ensure the fidelity of their election returns. But, as bank accounts are vulnerable to cyber attacks, so are vote totals—to varying degrees. While most tabulation databases are safe from everyday hacker threats, nation-states with highly advanced cyber operations theoretically might be able to mount an effective cyber attack on a U.S. national election by bringing their best offensive cyber capabilities to bear. State governments, which are responsible for the voting process, pay close attention to tabulation security. Ron Bandes is a network security analyst in the CERT division of the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. He also is president of VoteAllegheny, a nonpartisan election integrity organization. Bandes points out that in many states, two tallies occur. One is done at the local level, usually by the county. The other is a statewide count comprising all the county totals. These counts are cross-validated. “The outputs from the voting machines have to match the inputs to the tally system,” Bandes points out. 

Full Article: Elections at Risk in Cyberspace, Part III: Vote Database Security Ultimately Could Determine an Election Result | SIGNAL Magazine.

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