Facebook’s co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer tweeted their worries Sunday evening that the election Nov. 8 could be disrupted by a major internet attack.
Adam D’Angelo, former CTO of Facebook, tweeted out Sunday that there is a “Good chance of major internet attack Nov 8th. Many groups have the ability and incentive. Maps outage alone could easily skew the election.”
Dustin Moskovitz, one of the original co-founders of Facebook, responded saying, “is there anything to be done about it?”
D’Angelo warned his followers to make sure they have all the materials necessary to vote without access to an internet connection. D’Angelo recommended, for example, that people print out directions to voting locations and to vote early, if they can.
This warning comes a week or so after highly-trafficked U.S. sites were downed from a major internet attack targeting DynDNS, a company responsible for routing internet traffic and translating site domain names like “google.com” to associated numerical IP addresses. The attack, which mobilized hundreds of thousands of infected devices, was substantial enough to make websites like Twitter, Reddit, SoundCloud, The New York Times and Airbnb inaccessible to many users for some time. The devices used by hackers included cameras, baby monitors and even routers that were all internet-connected and had been infected by hackers, who then used them to direct an unbelievable amount of traffic at specific DynDNS servers, which blocked access from legitimate users.
D’Angelo is not concerned that electronic voting machines will be targeted, but rather, that hackers might try to bring down key services voters rely on to vote, such as online mapping services.
The 2016 presidential election has been awash in claims of hacking attempts, especially because of the hack and release of emails earlier this year from the Democratic National Committee, and most recently the release of emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s email account. WikiLeaks was subsequently provided with those emails, leading some commentators, like former National Security Agency intelligence analyst John Schindler to suspect strong connections between WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.