According to Fox News, the ballot box could be the next major target for cybercriminals looking to highjack U.S. elections. A report from Commonwealth Security and Risk Management for Virginia detailed ballot box vulnerabilities, warning that since 2002, Virginia’s system has used inferior security precautions that have left the system at risk for corruption. There is little doubt among security experts that these deficiencies exist to some degree within all 50 states.
Unfortunately, the sacrosanct election booth within our democracy is at risk from electronic intruders. It’s possible that hackers with even very minimal experience could play a part in corrupting the outcomes of future U.S. elections at every level of government, which would have disastrous implications for the entire country. With the wide range of information available online, it is not hard to learn how to alter election results – even for an average person who’s not overly tech savvy.
Some experts have argued that the issues often fall into two categories: First, there is a lack of testing by manufacturers before installing voting systems in the field. These companies are often selling “off-the-shelf hardware”, which means they’re more interested in making a profit than providing a secure product.
The second potential problem rises from local governments not having the proper resources and training to certify that the voting machines they’re utilizing have been properly safeguarded. Unfortunately, this leaves local election administrators in the position of being forced to assume that their machines are secure and protected from cyber attacks.
Until greater precautions are taken, the possibility of election rigging is all too real. Voting irregularities starting with the 2000 Presidential election and the drama of the hanging chad have driven election procedures into the electronic realm. While the drawbacks of paper ballots are real, the high jacking of future elections is a risk that must be mitigated in a world of cyber crime and corruption. Polling places must be protected to preserve democratic governments, but local governments must prepare now to defend the voting booth on the cyber front.
Find out more about the latest cybersecurity threats. Get in touch with Information Systems Integration at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 788-2354 to talk about what we can do to protect you.