The spotlight on cyber vulnerabilities of political campaigns has grown brighter after three Democratic campaigns in California were hacked during the state’s primary elections. The campaigns of Bryan Caforio, Hans Keirstead and David Min all fell victim to cyber intrusions this year, underscoring a shortcoming that applies to political operations of various sizes: insufficient protections to guard against cyberattacks. The problem is particularly acute for smaller-scale campaigns, which often have fewer resources to ensure their technology and communications are secure, while incumbents can draw from bigger campaign accounts. But having more cash on hand doesn’t always mean it’ll be used to beef up protections. A recent McClatchy analysis of Federal Election Commission filings found that only six candidates running for seats in the House and Senate this election cycle have spent more than $1,000 on cybersecurity measures.
Patrick Sullivan, head of the security team at cloud services provider Akamai Technologies, estimated that basic cybersecurity measures for a political campaign would cost around $2,000 a month.
“Depending on the level they want, those things can be pretty affordable to at least do the basic things like protect your website from defacement and distributed denial of service [DDoS] attacks,” Sullivan told The Hill. “You can purchase that as a utility over just a short period of time.”