Russia has attacked the U.S. in cyberspace in an attempt to influence our national election, many experts have concluded. We need to take this national security threat seriously and both respond and defend, despite the partisan nature of this particular attack. There is virtually no debate about that, either from the technical experts who analyzed the attack last month or the FBI which is analyzing it now. The hackers have already released DNC emails and voicemails, and promise more data dumps. While their motivation remains unclear, they could continue to attack our election from now to November — and beyond. Like everything else in society, elections have gone digital. And just as we’ve seen cyberattacks affecting all aspects of society, we’re going to see them affecting elections as well. What happened to the DNC is an example of organizational doxing — the publishing of private information — an increasingly popular tactic against both government and private organizations. There are other ways to influence elections: denial-of-service attacks against candidate and party networks and websites, attacks against campaign workers and donors, attacks against voter rolls or election agencies, hacks of the candidate websites and social media accounts, and — the one that scares me the most — manipulation of our highly insecure but increasingly popular electronic voting machines.
On the one hand, this attack is a standard intelligence gathering operation, something the NSA does against political targets all over the world and other countries regularly do to us. The only thing different between this attack and the more common Chinese and Russian attacks against our government networks is that the Russians apparently decided to publish selected pieces of what they stole in an attempt to influence our election, and to use Wikileaks as a way to both hide their origin and give them a veneer of respectability.
All of the attacks listed above can be perpetrated by other countries and by individuals as well. They’ve been done in elections in other countries. They’ve been done in other contexts. The Internet broadly distributes power, and what was once the sole purview of nation states is now in the hands of the masses. We’re living in a world where disgruntled people with the right hacking skills can influence our elections, wherever they are in the world.
Full Article: Hackers are putting U.S. election at risk – CNN.com.