Election Hacking: Getting Ready for the Russian Onslaught in 2020 presented at BSidesTampa 2019

by Jeremy Rasmussen,

Summary : Efforts to protect the integrity of the US voting system have become a national priority following allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. For example, groups such as the DEF CON Voting Village have sought to raise awareness about cyber vulnerabilities in voting machines and state election return websites. States themselves have also passed laws to attempt to strengthen protections against vote tampering. Although some improvements have been made, many saw the 2018 mid-term elections as being just as susceptible to cyberattacks as in 2016. In this talk, we will survey the critical issues and discuss solutions for the shortcomings. I will also provide insights gleaned from a behind-the-scenes tour that I took along with WTSP Channel 10 News to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections headquarters. There, we were able to see voting systems up close and discuss cybersecurity measures across all aspects – from registration to voting to tallying to reporting. We will play out specific threat scenarios and discuss current countermeasures in place. In the end, we will analyze whether there are sufficient safeguards in place to instill confidence in the integrity of the process.