At a glance, Valeriy Striganov seems like an unremarkable Ukrainian civil servant. But he has a monumental mission: as head of the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) IT Department, Striganov is tasked with protecting the upcoming March 2019 presidential elections from a cyber attack. “We find malware every day,” Striganov said with a laugh, peering out from behind a Republic of Gamers-branded laptop that he bought for his job. The question for Ukraine’s cyber security professionals is not so much whether an attack on the election will take place — that is almost completely assured. Rather, it’s how such an offensive will take place.
“The main thing that we should beware of in these elections is not so much a technical attack as an informational one,” Striganov said. But time is running out.
With the electoral campaign set to begin on Dec. 31, experts say the government will need at least three months lead time to fully prepare its electronic election infrastructure against an intrusion.
“We are hindered by a lack of financing,” he said.