SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – In a reversal from a couple of years back, many officials who manage U.S. election technology and outside security experts now fret less about hacking in the November elections than about false information and logistics such as a scarcity of survey workers and slowdowns at the U.S. postal service.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs speaks with press reporters at CISA’s Election Day Operation Center on Super Tuesday in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., March 3,2020 REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque – RC2LCF9026 SE/File Picture
Though the majority of digital ballot systems can be hacked, some undetectably, more states have moved away from paperless balloting and more vendors are listening to cautions about software application defects, long time experts informed the annual Black Hat and Def Con security conferences this week.
” We lastly know how to do this well,” Georgetown University teacher Matt Blaze said in a keynote at Black Hat, held online this year because of the pandemic.
In addition, the large number of jurisdictions and varied variations of software would make scams with a nationwide impact unwise, authorities stated.
On Friday, the U.S. head of counterintelligence, William Evanina, stated openly that while Russia, China and Iran might all act to interfere in the election, considerable vote changes were a low threat.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who rests on the intelligence committee, stated at Def Con he remained concerned about electronic pollbooks that could malfunction and internet voting by militaries overseas.
But Blaze and others stated they were generally fretted that numerous areas do not have enough funding for election-day workers to handle in-person votes under pandemic conditions, with possible demonstrations and disturbances, at the exact same time as they prepare for a record number of sent by mail tallies.
Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Facilities Security Agency, said people should vote as early as possible and get ready for delayed election results.
Any delay is likely to be fertile ground for misinformation both foreign and domestic, others cautioned.
A Def Con panel including Kimber Dowsett, director of security engineering at Truss, said instead of flagging brand-new voting device defects to an already negative public, researchers need to speak to Krebs’ firm and the vendors and wish for the finest.
” The greatest disservice we can do to the American people as security specialists is encourage them that their votes don’t count,” stated Dowsett.
Reporting by Joseph Menn; Modifying by Greg Mitchell and Sonya Hepinstall