Tennessee: Hack Shows Election Websites Are Vulnerable | NPR

When a WWE wrestler, especially one known for his demonic antics and a move called the “tombstone piledriver,” runs for mayor of your county, you know your election is going to get more attention than usual. But in Knox County, Tenn., it wasn’t the fact that Glenn Jacobs, also known to wrestling fans as Kane, was running for mayor that gained national attention on the county primary day, May 1. It was that the county’s election website, at the time the site was supposed to begin posting election results, came under attack. Malicious cyber actors shut down the county website and broke into the web server, according to county officials and a report done by the cyber security firm Sword and Shield. …”Any web server by definition, is connected to the internet, so it’s directly vulnerable to attacks from the internet,” said Doug Jones, an elections cyber security expert at the University of Iowa.

… Elections websites can be especially vulnerable targets in voting districts that are more rural than Knox County, Jones says, because those counties often don’t have the resources to adequately monitor and secure their sites.

“It’s really unlikely that there isn’t some vulnerable county out there and the first thing an attacker would do would be start probing all the county election offices and finding the ones that are weak,” Jones said, before adding that elections are often far down the priority list for governments.

“If you’re a county administrator and you have a county-run public health program, and a county election office and you have a choice between funding a homeless shelter and funding an election office, which are you going to do?” Jones said.

Full Article: Tennessee Hack Shows Election Websites Are Vulnerable : NPR.

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