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Christopher Krebs: CISA is Bolstering Election Voting Cybersecurity

Christopher Krebs

Christopher Krebs: CISA is Bolstering Election Voting Cybersecurity

Department of Homeland Security leaders have been focused on bolstering the cybersecurity of registration systems in preparation for the November presidential election, according to the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency.

Christopher Krebs, a past Potomac Officers Club speaker, said his teams are working to ensure that jurisdictions patch software vulnerabilities, back up their systems and have alternatives to digital processes. 

Security issues have reportedly become more complicated as states attempt to accommodate mail-in voting, Baltimore Sun reported

CISA is particularly concerned about the vulnerabilities of internet voting systems being used by Delaware, West Virginia and other states. 

In May, Krebs' agency warned election officials across all 50 states that online voting ballots "could be manipulated at scale." CISA said hackers might manipulate a large number of votes undetected.

CISA is a newly established division of DHS responsible for protecting the United States' infrastructure from physical and cyber threats. 

The University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently released a report confirming that OmniBallot could be exploited by voters, election officials or companies.

OmniBallot is the online voting platform that was used in Delaware's and West Virginia's recent elections. Both states and Colorado reportedly plan to also use it in some capacity for the November election.

Several jurisdictions in Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Ohio and Washington use OmniBallot as a way for voters to mark ballots remotely before submitting them.

“Online voting raises such severe risks that, even in a time of unrest and pandemic, these jurisdictions are taking a major risk of undermining the legitimacy of their election results,” said Alex Halderman, one of the researchers and a computer science professor at Michigan. 

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Tags: Alex Halderman Christopher Krebs CISA cybersecurity Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Department of Homeland Security DHS election security MIT Speaker News The Baltimore Sun University of Michigan