Election fraud feared as hackers target voter records
In the past year, this site has reported on a number of breaches involving voter data: the massive database with 191 million U.S. voters’ data that Chris Vickery uncovered, a second smaller database he uncovered of U.S. voters’ data that included 19 million profiles, a breach involving more than 50 million Turkish citizens, one involving 55 million Filipino voters, and most recently, another data leak uncovered by Vickery affecting 87 million Mexican voters.
With so much voter data exposed, hacked, or on sale, how great is the risk of election fraud?
Cory Bennett reports:
… The data breaches are raising questions as the U.S. considers whether to move toward electronic balloting. More people than ever are using the internet to register to vote and to request mail-in ballots. Some states have even become vote-by-mail only in recent years.
“If you can’t keep the voter registration records safe, what makes you think you can keep the votes safe?” asked Pamela Smith, president of election watchdog Verified Voting.
For a politically inclined hacker, insecure voter data could “very easily” create a pathway to “massive” voter fraud, said Joseph Kiniry, CEO of Free & Fair, which advocates for secure digital election systems.[…]
In the U.S., experts say there are few clear standards for locking down voter registration data and hackers have caught on to this fact. Andrew Komarov, chief intelligence officer at identity protection firm InfoArmor, said fraudsters are targeting electoral records at an unprecedented clip.
Read more on The Hill.
As I noted in discussing the massive U.S. voter database leak: our country makes voter registration data available to many entities as public records. You can even find voter lists online. The more entities that have access to the lists, the greater the risk of problems down the road, but despite the massive leak, there has been no move to further restrict access to the lists in the U.S. Why are these lists so widely available? To protect against election fraud, proponents claim.
What will it take before the U.S. shifts its thinking to provide greater security for voter registration information?