Two Years After the Presidential Election Hack: Can Our Election Systems Be Trusted?

UMUC Cybersecurity Professor Examines Voting Security as 2018 Mid-term Elections Approach

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats and other high-ranking U.S. national security officials recently confirmed that Russia’s interference in the November 2016 presidential election was not an isolated breach but is an ongoing event, according to reports by CNN and other media.

Arguably, when the breach initially occurred in early 2016, most voting-age citizens outside the cybersecurity field likely had given little thought to the possibility that U.S. election systems could be compromised. But in July 2016 on the eve of the Democratic National Convention when WikiLeaks began publishing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee’s servers, election hacking surfaced on the public’s radar.

That October, as election-hacking concerns mounted, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Professor Balakrishnan Dasarathy, program chair of Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, posted a blog analyzing the systems that support our elections in terms of their strengths that deter intrusion—and their vulnerabilities that make a breach possible “but unlikely … catastrophic.”

Now, in his latest UMUC Cyber Connections post, Dasarathy revisits his 2016 analysis and explores what is being done—and what more the federal government and other entities should do—in the wake of election hacking to restore public confidence in the ballot box.

In 2016, in the run-up to the presidential election, the question increasingly topmost on the minds of voters was: Can our election systems be hacked? In 2018, Dasarathy sets out to answer the more compelling and pointed question: Can U.S. citizens trust our election results?

Read “Two Years After the Presidential Election Hack” here.