With all the concern over cybersecurity heading into the midterm elections, it’s actually quite difficult for outsiders to directly manipulate votes. Unlike corporate networks and email systems, voting machines aren’t connected to the internet, making them hard to access. So as government officials prepare for the hotly contested congressional elections in November, their focus is more on protecting the integrity of the systems that support the pre- and post-voting periods than on the ballots themselves. “This is about more than just voting machines,” Jeanette Manfra, the top cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security, told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday. “If an [attacker] was intent on sowing discord, how could they do that? It involves us looking at the broad elections administration process.”
Manfra was in Washington, D.C., this week for a three-day series of simulated cyberattacks. Officials from 45 states and territories participated, both in Washington and remotely, in an effort to consider a vast array of scenarios that could be used to interfere with the elections.
It’s a different approach than what you will find at hacker conferences, which have tried to show how easy it is to break into voting machines. For example, last week children as young as 11 took part in an educational exercise at the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas, demonstrating that even kids can crack into the machines and change votes.
Full Article: How DHS is gearing up to protect the midterms from hackers.