With less than a year to go until the 2020 election, there are growing concerns about cyber-attacks on our voting system.
Even as ballots were counted earlier this month in local races, election officials had one eye on 2020. Hackers have already started trying to influence next year’s presidential election.
Washington’s Secretary of State says there have been tens of thousands of attempts to get into the state’s election system, with new ones daily. In nearby Redmond, Washington, Microsoft’s digital crimes unit is monitoring corrupt bot nets around the world. In Sept., the company detected a month-long attack by Iran. Among the hacked victims were members of the Trump campaign.
Election security has been a political football ever since the 2016 race, when Russia tried everything to influence the outcome – hacking campaign emails, spreading disinformation and trying to change actual votes.
States are gearing up for another cyber-onslaught by hardening defenses, adding a paper trail, and vote audits, but experts say systems are still too vulnerable.
A Democratic bill that would give states $600 million to help them modernize passed the House, but stalled in the Republican-led Senate.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just said America should leave no stone unturned to protect the next election, but no system is hack-proof and it will take government, tech companies, and the public together to stop those intent on undermining our democracy.