Safest Voting Method Is Using Paper, Leading Cyber Expert Says

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Election voting is the cybersecurity industry’s most difficult challenge, and casting ballots on paper is the safest option against any digital disruptions, saysCrowdStrikeHoldings co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Alperovitch. “Voting is the hardest thing to secure when it comes to cybersecurity,” Alperovitch said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “The only way we know how to do it well and safely is by using paper.” The best ways to ensure that a digital hack won’t happen, he said, are in-person voting and ballots that are either mailed in or dropped off at collection sites. Alperovitch said he hasn’t seen evidence of Russian hacking into campaigns or political organizations and leaking information so far this year. He warned of “influence operations” by China, Iran, and Russia conducted through social media. U.S. intelligence agencieshave saidRussia is still using social media and television to help President Donald Trump, while China and Iran want the Democratic candidate Joe Biden to win the presidency in November.

The election infrastructure, which includes voter databases and vote-tallying and vote-reporting systems, is “very, very, vulnerable to hacking,” Alperovitch added. “I’m not so much concerned about foreign entities interfering in the paper process, but we do need to make sure that states are prepared to take in the huge number of mail-in ballots that will come in.” One less-discussed but viable option is ballot drop-off, Alperovitch said. All precincts should install drop boxes by the curbside, where people can drop off the ballot without using the mail, he said. The election in November may be one where “we may not know who the president is the night of the election or the day after,” Alperovitch said, echoingcommentslast week byFacebook’s head of cybersecurity policy. The social media platform is preparing to rein-in misinformation in a prolonged period before the result is released.