Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: Virtual campaigning could give hackers new ways to attack the 2020 election
By Tonya Riley
Former vice president Joe Biden
Experts say campaigns need to pay more attention to the digital risks posed by increased document-sharing and video conferencing — and the onslaught of
“Voter contact has shifted to digital and phones — and it's just primed for digital hackers and their shenanigans,” says Matt Rhoades, co-founder of Defending Digital Campaigns, a nonprofit group that connects political campaigns with free or reduced-price
Social distancing measures in the United States may give some people more time to cause disruptions, said Rhoades, a former presidential campaign manager for Mitt Romney. “From a domestic digital threat we have a bunch of hackers sitting in their parents' basement eating
DDC is emphasizing to campaigns that they must securely send and receive
And Kaiser recommends campaigns use encrypted services such as Signal or Wickr, a DDC partner. Whichever they choose, Kaiser said, the key is enforcing consistent use across everyone in the campaign — which can be tricky for often
“Biden for President takes
The campaigns for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and President Trump did not respond to questions about what digital security steps they're taking.
While many campaigns have upped their efforts to protect email in the wake of the 2016 hack of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, there are deep concerns about the lack of protection for the virtual fundraisers, meetings and town halls that have boomed during the pandemic.
Zoom, which the Biden campaign has used for town halls, has been blindsided by a number of security concerns, my colleague Cat Zakrzewski reported. After multiple reports of anonymous trolls targeting educators with racist and pornographic material, the FBI issued a warning last week advising that Zoom users should opt to keep meeting private and use participant-screening features. But my colleague Drew Harwell found thousands of private Zoom calls, including confidential therapy sessions, online last week, raising concerns about the company's privacy features.
“I know that the larger campaigns are super-sensitive to it,” says Shomik Dutta, co-founder and partner at Higher Ground Labs, a political technology accelerator. “If you have a great broadcast experience that is truly two-way, you don't want
Higher Ground Labs has invested in a number of technologies, such as text-to-voter organizing tools, that are in demand as campaigns go digital, and has its eye on investing in more live event platforms. It encourages its
Disinformation and the threat of
This could extend to the political space as the election draws near — especially as virtual and phone campaigning open up the door for pranksters to pose as candidates.
But Rhoades says
Scams targeting voters or campaign workers could also pose a threat.
Both the Sanders and Trump campaigns aren't fully using a security protocol that prevents hackers from sending emails pretending to be from their campaign website domains.
And the personal emails of campaign members are also not immune from increased
“I think campaign staff are consumers, too, and while they might have a campaign email, they all have personal emails as well,” Kaiser says. “When it comes to the
PINGED, PATCHED, PWNEDPINGED: The Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked an executive order by Gov. Tony Evers (D) that would have postponed today's elections until July, leaving
The U.S. Supreme Court also struck down the state's plan for extended absentee voting with a 5-to-4 ruling in conservatives' favor.
Wisconsin Republicans strongly lobbied against changing the primary date in the state, reflecting a growing national sentiment from the party questioning vote-by-mail and other measures introduced to lessen
“At the end of the day, this is about the people of Wisconsin,” Evers said Monday. “They frankly don’t care much about Republicans and Democrats
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan.
“Many of these videos include intimate details of private businesses and personal relationships, potentially exposing users to significant financial, personal, and psychological harm,” Bennet wrote in a letter to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan. “In case after case, these issues consistently stem from Zoom’s deliberate decision to emphasize ease of use over user privacy and safety.”
Bennet wants to know all the data Zoom
A fire-damaged telecom tower.
Content promoting the false link between the virus and the communications technology appears on Facebook and Twitter, as well. Both companies are set to meet with government leaders about curbing the misinformation this week, Alex Hern and Jim Waterson at the Guardian report.
FILE PHOTO: A Huawei logo is seen on a device at a media event in London, Britain, February 18, 2020. Picture taken February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo
The rule change could hurt advanced medical equipment essential to
The proposal is aimed at Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, but could lead to reprisals against the United States by China, the company's chairman warned last week.