The Government Wants You—To Hack US Election Systems

first_imgStay on target This Malicious USB Cable Can Remotely Accept Hacker CommandsHackers Had More Than 1,000 DNA Test Kits Mailed to Random People Two U.S. senators have introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at protecting American election systems from foreign interference.The Securing America’s Voting Equipment (SAVE) Act would help shield voting systems, registration data, and ballots from theft, manipulation, and malicious computer hackers.And requires your help to “hack the election.”Among various authorizations and mandates, the proposed bill includes the creation of a “Cooperative Hack the Election” contest: Participants work with vendors to uncover (and ultimately defend) threats to electronic voting systems.The goal of the annual bug bounty program is to “strengthen electoral systems from outside interference”; discover the most significant vulnerabilities to earn an as-yet-unspecified award.Hackers, however, may not “exploit” uncovered vulnerabilities or “publicly expose” them, according to the legislation.“Our democracy hinges on protecting Americans’ ability to fairly choose our own leaders,” Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who co-wrote the bill with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), said in a statement. “We must do everything we can to protect the security and integrity of our elections.”The move comes after reports that election-related networks, including websites, in 21 states were targeted by the Russian government during the 2016 campaign.If enacted, the SAVE Act would invite developers, network specialists, security experts, cyber criminals, and anyone with average computer skills who lives in their parents’ basement to infiltrate nationwide systems.It also facilitates information sharing, provides guidelines for best practices, and entitles states to additional funding to develop their own solutions to election threats.The Department of Homeland Security in June confirmed that “a small number” of voting networks—including those in Arizona and Illinois—were successfully compromised last year. Reports also suggested that voter registration databases in 39 states were penetrated.A “truly disturbing” reality that Collins said should “serve as a call to action to assist states in hardening their defenses against foreign adversaries that seek to compromise the integrity of our election process.”“Until we set up stronger protections of our election systems and take the necessary steps to prevent future foreign influence campaigns, our nation’s democratic institutions will remain vulnerable,” Heinrich added.center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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