#4 How Hackers Influence the US Election

After watching the president debate, I was thinking: what would be more interesting than writing about the US presidential election and how much impact hackers really have on the election’s outcome. According to the Homeland Security Department, hackers have targeted the voter registration system of more than 20 states last months. Some people say hackers might manipulate the results, but many cybersecurity experts claim it would be impossible for hackers to modify the election’s outcome, because the systems are usually not connected to the internet. Although, the state election officials are encouraged to implement existing technical recommendation in order to secure the election systems, but also to ensure that the electronical voting machines are not connected to the internet, in order to protect the systems from an attack.

Due to what is written above, some experts are concerned about the states that use paperless systems. There will be no trace if a hacker would modify software for voting machines to affect how votes are counted. It might be tricky for a hacker to execute this, but if they will succeed, the election’s outcome can be manipulated in order to benefit one candidate. Imagine if hackers really would sway the outcome of this presidential election and actually change the world. This is not a tiny election as we are well aware of, but the election will have an impact on all of us, even if we’re not even American citizens.

We often talk about all the good things that technology brings, but lately, the speed of new technology also brings threats. It is hard to keep up with the cybersecurity, because we do not really know what the threats are, until they happen.  No wonder cybersecurity experts are highly wanted. In my opinion, we should try to turn bad hackers into good hackers in order to make them cybersecurity experts.

It is funny how you actually can turn bad hackers into good hackers. My cousin, for example, was a bad hacker who was hunting sensitive data. Once he hacked Google and got access to passwords for one of Google’s production servers. Instead of doing something bad, he contacted Google and told them what he found and how he managed to do that. This was, of course, a risky move, because he actually did something illegal, but Google didn’t charge him for anything. Instead, they asked him for his help and considered him as a consult and actually asked him if I could find more bugs. He received a $10K reward for his work.

I would like to see more companies that tries to turn bad hackers into good hackers like this, because they can really make a change by bug hunting. There’s a lot of companies that already apply this kind of reward system as mentioned above. Maybe, the states should send out a reward offer to the ones who find bugs, vulnerabilities or security holes in their voting systems?

Links:
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Hacking-Elections-Is-Easy-Study-Finds-83947.html
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/30/us-official-hackers-targeted-election-systems-20-states.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT5omaPizpg
http://thenextweb.com/dd/2014/04/12/hacked-googles-production-server-received-10k-reward/

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This entry was published on October 6, 2016 at 5:08 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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