As we approach the 2012 presidential election, concerns are being raised about the likelihood of cyber attacks leading up to and during that event. There are many individuals, groups and rogue nation states that would like nothing better than to disrupt this year’s election.
Several months ago, a video was posted by those claiming to be from the well know hacktivist group Anonymous that alluded to plans for launching cyber initiatives that target the 2012 presidential election.
Remember back in 2010 there were reports of a cyber attack that allowed hackers to gain access to online voting system in the District of Columbia. Now add to that the activity of hackers during last year’s elections in Russia, as well as the cyber fire exchanged during the last Iranian elections.
We shouldn’t forget the cyber attacks back in 2008 that targeted the Obama and McCain campaigns. With all this activity it is easy to see why cyber security practitioners have a heightened state of awareness and are on cyber guard.
In an election that looks like it will be too tight to call, all they have to do is to create a reason for the results to be called into question.
According to Pamela Smith, executive director of the Verified Voting Foundation, as many as 3 million voters will be able to vote online.
Couple that information with the fact that 31 states will offer some form of limited online voting and you have to admit the 2012 election is an attractive target.
There are many groups that go out and monitor local voting. I wonder if any of those groups will be looking to monitor the online voting.
Kevin G. Coleman is a long-time security technology executive and former Chief Strategist at Netscape. He is Senior Fellow with the Technolytics Institute where he provides consulting services on strategic technology and security issues. He writes a weekly blog for Breaking Gov on the topic of cyber intelligence.