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Can the Elections Get Hacked?

The security of electronic voting machines has been the subject of scrutiny, just before the November U.S. presidential elections. Are they secure? Are they anonymous? And if the answer is yes, how can we possibly know? A Symantec security expert recently demonstrated just what a motivated hacker can do to undermine the election by hacking an electronic voting machine. 

Can Hackers Hack the Election?

At the Black Hat convention this year, Symantec’s Brian Varner demonstrated a security flaw in an electronic voting machine and the smart card a voter would use to place their vote. Using a small device to exploit this flaw a hacker could potentially cast multiple votes, tampering with the system. This is concerning when five states (Georgia, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and New Jersey) use electronic voting machines without a paper ballot verification system to audit the results, according to a CNN report.

Other Cybersecurity Concerns

Another cybersecurity concerns calls into question the security of election databases and voters’ data. Officials recently confirmed that the state election databases of Arizona and Illinois had been hacked and investigations into the security breach are under way, according to several news reports.

Other cybercriminals are capitalizing on interest in the U.S. elections to promote malicious spam. A click bait story involving presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is being used in a spam email campaign to spread malware. Satnam Narang, Norton security expert, wrote in a blog post detailing this malicious spam campaign that people should proceed with caution when receiving any sort of sensationalized content referencing the November elections campaign. “With less than 90 days to go until Election Day, we advise everyone to keep an eye out for suspicious emails that may use either presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, as bait. When seeking news related to the US elections only visit trusted news websites and avoid opening unsolicited emails.”

As this story continues to develop, stay tuned to the Norton Protection Blog for cybersecurity news and research.