Experts warn that hackers can tamper with more than just election votes

LOS ANGELES (Network Indiana) — Election interference by foreign hackers covers a lot more than the possibility of tampering with the vote count.

U-S-C cybersecurity expert Clifford Neuman says there’s no sign hackers have been able to manipulate vote tallies. But there have been documented attempts to hack voter rolls, which could leave voters unable to cast their ballot on Election Day. Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office has said it’s beefed up security in response to several attempted attacks on county computer systems in Indiana.

Neuman says hackers could also target polling places, trying to force them to shut down through denial-of-service attacks and creating long lines elsewhere. And Neuman says one of the softest targets for hackers is you. Cybervillains have tried to manipulate voters by spreading phony information about deadlines and polling places. Neuman says if hackers can’t compromise the election, their fallback is to encourage doubts about its legitimacy. He warns isolated incidents of hacking could be used to fan those suspicions.

U-S-C’s Election Cybersecurity Initiative is conducting a series of state-by-state workshops on the need to beef up security.

Neuman says you need to take the same precautions surrounding the election as you should with everything else — think twice before clicking a link. And he says voters should check that their election information comes from trusted sources — not just about the candidates, but about where to vote and the deadline to register. In Indiana, that deadline is October 5, the day before early voting begins in some counties.

Former Indiana Senator Dan Coats (R), who served as President Trump’s director of national intelligence, called last week for a top-level bipartisan commission to oversee the election, ensuring it’s conducted fairly and investigating allegations of wrongdoing. Former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh (D) applauds Coats’ proposal, and says a commitment to election security should cross party lines. He notes the recent Senate Intelligence Committee report documenting Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 elections, and F-B-I warnings that it’s doing so again.