Matt Blaze: A New Model of Voting Threats

Matt Blaze: A New Model of Voting Threats

By Lida Tunesi

An article published in Ars Technica quotes associate professor of Computer and Information Science Matt Blaze on the way threats to election security are changing.

Reporter Sean Gallagher recounts the U.S.’s shift to electronic voting, and the myriad problems that arrived alongside the new systems. For one, voting machine software is often fraught with vulnerabilities and rarely receive updates. However, some of the bigger security issues lie in the “back end” of voting systems, like in the way voter data is stored. Attackers also target the people who handle this data, such as in phishing campaigns against election officials. These back end susceptibilities are giving rise to a new kind of concern.

This is where the new threat model comes in. Electoral systems today don’t only need to look for rotten state actors or someone who’s interested in stealing a local office; they need to account for “someone looking to cause disorder or cast doubt about the legitimacy of whoever the winner is,” Blaze said. In this case, the attacker would be satisfied “with many more different sorts of outcomes,” Blaze noted, and they would be more likely to have more resources at their disposal than someone trying to cheat their way into winning a local council seat.

Continue reading at Ars Technica.