Officials don’t get risks of election hacking

New Yorker: America Continues to Ignore the Risks of Election Hacking <read>

One of the enduring myths about American elections, and one that persists even after the revelations of 2016, is that they are largely insulated from hacking because we have no centralized voting system—elections are overseen by roughly nine thousand counties, and voting takes place in over a hundred and fifty thousand polling places—and because most voting occurs offline. “Our diverse and locally-run election process presents serious obstacles to carrying out large-scale cyberattacks to disrupt elections, and that standalone, disconnected voting systems present a low risk,” the National Association of Secretaries of State wrote last year, in a briefing paper titled “Key Facts and Findings on Cybersecurity and Foreign Targeting of the 2016 US Elections.” Yet the intelligence community, computer scientists, and hackers themselves have found that while decentralization may be a deterrent, it is not a defense.

There is no panacea. As we have been saying all along, nothing can fully protect us from hacking, fraud, and errors.  Maximum election security means Prevention, Detection, and Recovery.  For vote totals that means that we need to protect our paper ballots and then exploit them with sufficient audits and recounts.

 

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