It’s an unfortunate reality that cyber attacks on the U.S. 2020 election are likely to happen. However, while this is a potent threat to democracy, an even greater threat is to not take the necessary actions to prevent these attacks until it is too late.
There are many different types of cyberattacks that the U.S. 2020 election could face.
- Attacks on electronic poll books and registration systems to remove individuals from voter rolls, swap their polling location, or claim they’ve voted when they haven’t.
- Hacking attacks against election websites that educate the public on voting times, polling locations, and the current status of registrations.
- Disinformation campaigns that disseminate inaccurate results through election night reporting system attacks.
Preventing these attacks requires clever contingency planning and addressing key issues present in the current systems that voters and their states engage with. This article aims to address these issues.
Upgrade voting machines
The most important step in protecting American elections is securing its voting machines. This is hardly a surprise given that the easiest form of attack to comprehend (and by far the most frightening) is the stealthy introduction of malware into voting machines so that election results are changed without anyone noticing.
The first step (and most important) in this process is giving paperless systems a “paper backup” of every vote, one that is verified by each voter. Without this, there is no way to independently assess whether the digital totals provided by the voting machines are legitimate. While this may seem like a huge step, this is something that the United States has made sizable progress towards achieving, that is, halving the number of paperless machines used before 2017.
In a general sense, most American voting machines pose a security risk just by virtue of their age. At a (Read more…)