Threat actors are ratcheting up their cyberattacks ahead of the 2018 midterms, exposing voter databases, operating influence campaigns and eroding voter confidence, according to research by Carbon Black.

Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, the security firm’s researchers found 20 different state voter databases containing more than 81.5 million voter records – including names, genders, voter IDs, addresses, citizenship status and phone numbers – for sale on the dark web, several of them from swing states, Carbon Black’s quarterly incident response threat report revealed.

Researchers found thousands of Instagram followers, Facebook likes, YouTube views and Twitter retweets on the dark web for “a small amount of cryptocurrency” with some listings offering “’laser-focused’ ads” to recipients. “Manipulating social media is a relatively low-cost endeavor, and hackers on the dark web appear to have tools at the ready for manipulating public opinion on major American platforms,” the report said.

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