News broke yesterday that Google parent company Alphabet’s experimental incubator Jigsaw will provide free cybersecurity protection to political campaigns. For the last two years, Jigsaw’s Project Shield has focused on fighting DDoS where it might be used for censorship around the world, offering free defences to journalists, small publications, human rights groups, and election board sites. Andrew Lloyd, President at Corero Network Security commented below.
Andrew Lloyd, President at Corero Network Security:
“Whilst recent election-related headlines have been dominated by the apparent “mass psychology” attempts by Cambridge Analytica (aided by Facebook) to influence voting intentions, government security agencies rightly highlight that the infrastructure of the election process may also be vulnerable. Manual “pencil & paper” or “punch card” voting mechanisms largely protect the act of casting a vote, however, the cyber-threat is real for other election infrastructure such as voter registration web portals.
“Emboldened either by previous success and/or notoriety cyber-attackers will continue to exploit DDoS to make their election point; whether it’s, political, moral, or otherwise. Frustratingly for the security services, it’s seldom possible to identify the attacker or determine the true source of the attack. Where the DDoS traffic emanates from is almost certainly not directly related to the attacker, those who funded the attacks, or the geographical region they are located in.
“Given that we’re unable to deter or identify most of the attackers, we must protect the integrity of the systems being used for the democratic process. The latest always-on real-time automated DDoS protection solutions can keep systems online, and available for citizens and officials to access, at all times before, during and after putting pencil to voting paper.
“During the 2017 UK General Election, Corero offered free use of its real-time DDoS protection to the UK Government Digital Service & Cabinet Office and to each of the major UK Political Parties (i.e. Conservative, Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrats and DUP) to protect voter and member registration during the election period.”