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U.S. readies cyber counterattack to defend mid-term elections

The U.S. Department of Defense is said to have prepared a cyber counterattack to be launched against Russia if that nation meddles in next Tuesday’s election. The report comes from the Center for Public Integrity and The Daily Beast and which cited unnamed sources who said the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies have been given…
USA Freedom Act foiled by Senate Republicans
Election 2016 Cybersecurity Insights, Election Coverage, Government, Government/Defense, Security News

Report: Russian-sponsored hackers could have modified U.S. voter data, but didn’t

Russian state-sponsored cyber actors “conducted an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. elections,” the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concludes in the first volume of its report on Russia’s efforts to interference in America’s most recent presidential election. Released yesterday, volume one focuses specifically on…
Election Coverage, Security News

Democratic fundraising firm leaves data-filled NAS open to public

A consumer-grade network attached storage (NAS) device owned by Rice Consulting, a fundraising firm working primarily with the Democratic Party, containing client data and passwords giving access to other organizations, was left publicly accessible, a cybersecurity research firm discovered. The factory-set authentication of the Buffalo TeraStation NAS device was disabled, leaving it open to being…
Election 2016 Cybersecurity Insights, Election Coverage, Government, Government/Defense, Network Security, Research, Security News

Russia’s 2016 election interference was highly organized, but fixes for 2020 are possible: reports

The campaign by Russia’s Internet Research Agency to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election using fake Twitter accounts was even organized than many people realize, according to a new report from Symantec Corporation. But another new report from scholars at Stanford University prescribes more than 45 policy recommendations for how the U.S. can prevent…
Election Coverage, Government/Defense, Network Security, Security News, States of Security

State of security: Oregon

Who’s in Charge: Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, Interim Director of Elections Steve Trout The Pacific Northwest is big on preserving its forests, but if there were ever a good use of trees, it’s the millions of paper-based ballots that Oregon mails out before every election. Indeed, Oregon is a vote-by-mail state whose only electoral technology consists…
Election Coverage, Government/Defense, Network Security, Security News, States of Security

State of security: New York

Who’s in Charge: Board of Elections Co-Director Todd Valentine, Board of Elections Co-Director Robert A. Brehm It’s up to you, New York, New York, who you vote for. But as far as how you vote in the Empire State, DRE-based electronic voting, including absentee ones, are submitted via paper ballots. The votes are then counted using ballot…
Election Coverage, Government, Government/Defense, Network Security, Security News, States of Security

State of security: Iowa

Who’s in charge: Secretary of State Paul Pate, Director of Elections Dawn Williams Iowa uses nothing but paper ballots for all forms of voting, and then tabulates the votes with ballot marking technology or optical scanners. The auditing process has come under some criticism for a variety of perceived flaws, including its scope, which is limited to a…
Election Coverage, Government/Defense, Network Security, Security News, States of Security

State of security: Pennsylvania

Who’s In Charge: Secretary of State Robert Torres, Commissioner of Elections Jonathan Marks Pennsylvania intends to eliminate all electronic voting machines that fail to produce voter-verified paper audit trails (VVPATs) by the year 2020. While that’s an important step, it won’t do much good in the 2018 midterm elections, during which time 50 out of the Keystone State’s 67 counties will…
Election Coverage, Government, Government/Defense, Network Security, Security News, States of Security

State of Security: Delaware

Who’s in Charge: Commissioner of Elections Elaine Manlove Delaware may be known as the First State, but it certainly doesn’t come in first when it comes to cybersecurity. To document and tabulate its residents’ votes, the tiny mid-Atlantic state uses the Danaher Shouptronic 1242 – a push-button direct-record electronic solution that does not have a voter-verified…
Senate building
Election Coverage, Government, Government/Defense, Security News

Sen. Hyde-Smith blocks 3 security bills on same day Mueller warns of Russian meddling

On the same day that former U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller publicly testified that Russia is actively taking measures to interfere with America’s 2020 elections, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., blocked the passage of three bills designed to boost the security of elections or the federal government. Yesterday, the senator rejected two separate bills (1, 2),…
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