As the US presidential election approaches, and in the wake of numerous leaks and hacks this year, many people are openly talking about the likelihood of the process being disrupted by a major cyberattack that could influence the results – Silicon Valley included. Adam D’Angelo, former chief technology officer at Facebook and founder of Quora, took to social media to voice his concerns. “Good chance of major internet attack 8 Nov,” he tweeted. “Many groups have the ability and incentive. [Google] Maps outage alone could easily skew the election.” Referencing the massive US internet outages caused by the internet of things (IoT) enhanced Mirai botnet that recently took down a slew of websites via a DNS cyberattack, D’Angelo added: “Last Friday’s attack should be enough evidence.” In response to the tweet, which was circulated hundreds of times, Dustin Moskovitz, the co-founder of Facebook who has donated millions of dollars to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, said: “Is there anything to be done about it?”
… On 25 October, Rick Hasen, professor of law and political science at UC Irvine told NPRhe believes there are a number of methods cybercriminals could take to disrupt the election, adding the Mirai DDoS had made him revaluate his position.
He said: “While I don’t expect the vote totals to be affected by a hack, it’s possible if there were a large enough cyberattack against the United States on Election Day that could interfere with the fair administration of the election and raise questions about its legitimacy. “If we had a hack that took the internet down for effective communication, took down Internet-based telephones or affected traffic signals or affected get out the vote efforts, you could easily imagine that a major attack on the Internet could interfere with our election.”