National News

National: Making U.S. Elections More Secure Wouldn’t Cost Much But No One Wants To Pay | NPR

June 28, 2017

What would it cost to protect the nation’s voting systems from attack? About $400 million would go a long way, say cybersecurity experts. It’s not a lot of money when it comes to national defense — the Pentagon spent more than that last year on military bands alone — but getting funds for election systems is always a struggle.

National: Were Voting Machines Actually Breached? DHS Would Rather Not Know | TPM

June 30, 2017

Pressure to examine voting machines used in the 2016 election grows daily as evidence builds that Russian hacking attacks were broader and deeper than previously known. And the Department of Homeland Security has a simple response: No. DHS officials from former secretary Jeh Johnson to acting Director of Cyber Division Samuel Liles may be adamant that machines were not affected, but the agency has not in fact opened up a single voting machine since November to check.

Editorials: Congress should require paper voter ballots, electronic cybersecurity | Bruce Fein/Washington Times

July 5, 2017

Something is rotten in the state of our electronic voting practices. They are recklessly wandering towards online voting despite their high vulnerable to hacking and manipulation by cyberspace clowns, partisans, enemies, or all three. Congress should invoke its power under Article I, section 4 of the Constitution to require in federal elections use of paper ballots or electronic voting machines that produce voter-verified paper ballots. Congress should encourage States to do likewise for state elections through a federal grant-in-aid program.

National: Intelligence Panel Learns How to Hack Air-Gapped Voting Systems | GovInfo Security

June 23, 2017

Hackers can breach air-gapped voting machines and vote tallying systems – those not connected to internet – in an attempt to alter ballots to sway the outcome of an election, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has learned.

National: Can US Elections Be Hacked? Security Experts Call For More Protections Against Election Hacking | International Business Times

June 23, 2017

More than one hundred security researchers and experts signed on to a letter sent to member of the United States Congress to warn of their belief that not enough has been done to protect against potential threats to state and federal elections. The letter, published Wednesday as a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference during the 2016 U.S.

Voting Blogs: It is Time For Members of Congress to Step Up and Protect Our Election | Lawrence Norden/Brennan Center for Justice

June 19, 2017

On Monday night, the Intercept published a leaked National Security Agency report that recounts a Russian military intelligence cyberattack against a voter registration software company. According to the report, Russian government hackers appear to have used “data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration–themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.” On one level, this story was not particularly surprising.

National: If Voting Machines Were Hacked, Would Anyone Know? | NPR

June 14, 2017

As new reports emerge about Russian-backed attempts to hack state and local election systems, U.S. officials are increasingly worried about how vulnerable American elections really are. While the officials say they see no evidence that any votes were tampered with, no one knows for sure. Voters were assured repeatedly last year that foreign hackers couldn’t manipulate votes because, with few exceptions, voting machines are not connected to the Internet.

National: Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known | Bloomberg

June 14, 2017

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported. In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database.

National: How Applied Mathematics Could Help Democracy | The Atlantic

May 26, 2017

American voting relies heavily on technology. Voting machines and ballot counters have sped up the formerly tedious process of counting votes. Yet long-standing research shows that these technologies are susceptible to errors and manipulation that could elect the wrong person. In the 2016 presidential election, those concerns made their way into public consciousness, worrying both sides of the political fence. The uncertainty led to a set of last-minute, expensive state recounts—most of which were incomplete or blocked by courts.

National: Top hacker conference to target voting machines | Politico

May 26, 2017

Hackers will target American voting machines—as a public service, to prove how vulnerable they are. When over 25,000 of them descend on Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas at the end of July for DEFCON, the world’s largest hacking conference, organizers are planning to have waiting what they call “a village” of different opportunities to test how easily voting machines can be manipulated.

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