Using 'Password' As A Password, Ransomware And Other Threats That Undermine Election Security
Not long after Northern Kentucky University computer science professor James Walden's presentation on election security issues Wednesday, Iran was accused of accessing election information and sending emails to Florida voters. Walden lays out the most serious threats and has some advice on how to make elections more secure.
The Most Recent Hack
U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe was not surprised Iran was allegedly behind the hack. "This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sew chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy."
Ratcliffe says Russia also gained access but it didn't contact voters in this most recent hack however, "We are aware that they have attained some voter information, just as they did in 2016."
The U.S. Must Identify Weak Links
In the Oct. 21 Zoom presentation, Walden said it's kind of easy to hack into election data. "By examining election systems from an attacker's viewpoint, we will identify weak links in security and points of high leverage for altering election outcomes in this unique election year."
At the hacker's convention DefCon, attendees try to gain access to election software every year. "They never found a voting machine they couldn't penetrate in some way," says Walden. "The easiest way they got in were default passwords, which were in some cases the word 'password.' "
What About Solutions?