Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

State of security: Missouri

Who’s in charge: Secretary of State John R. Ashcroft

Missouri recently held a National Election Security Summit in St. Louis to discuss and share best practices as well as usable steps to mitigate threats and vulnerabilities concerning the upcoming election. The state was allotted $7.2 million in federal funds for election security to train local officials in cybersecurity, update its voter registration system and audit voting equipment to make sure it accurately records ballots.

The state has also recently enacted voter ID laws in June 2017 which outlined identification options for registered voters to use on Election Day at their polling locations. The state also offers free photo IDs to those who don’t have them.

“Missouri works on a multitude of levels to ensure the voter registration system is secure, and works with the Department of Homeland Security on a daily basis to protect systems. We monitor our networks constantly, and use third-party vendors as an added layer of security," a state spokesperson said. "It’s important to note that Missouri has 116 election jurisdictions, and our office certifies voting systems approved for use, all of which are required to produce a paper audit trail. Each local election authority makes independent decisions on the voting software and machines they use.” 

In July 2018, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill was reportedly targeted in a phishing attack which bared many of the hallmarks of the Fancy Bear APT group. Hackers attempted to steal McCaskill staffers’ credentials by sending them fraudulent notification emails that falsely claimed their Microsoft Exchange passwords had expired.

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