Vulnerabilities / Threats

05:20 PM

As Primaries Loom, Election Security Efforts Behind Schedule

While federal agencies lag on vulnerability assessments and security clearance requests, the bipartisan Defending Digital Democracy Project releases three new resources to help state and local election agencies with cybersecurity, incident response.

With primaries for 2018 elections beginning March 6, efforts to harden state, local election systems are being hindered by federal sluggishness and "wariness of federal meddling," the Associated Press reports. 

One of state and local election officials' main complaints, according to the AP report, is their struggle to obtain federal security clearances, which would enable greater information sharing in the event of a security threat or incident. Fewer than half of the officials that have requested federal clearances have yet received them, according to the AP, including the state elections board executive director in Illinois, one of two states where voter registration databases were breached in 2016. 

Another key concern: vulnerability assessments of the state and local election systems. The US Department of Homeland Security offered to conduct these assessments - but only 14 state and three local agencies took DHS up on the offer, and only five of these requested vulnerability assessments have been completed. DHS says all will be completed by mid-April, according to AP.

Election officials did, however receive new guidance Thursday, from the bipartisan group that recently released cybersecurity guidance for election campaign managers. The Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs - co-chaired by the former campaign managers for Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton and the former Defense Department chief of staff during the Obama Administration - published "The State and Local Election Cybersecurity Playbook," "The Election Cyber Incident Communications Coordination Guide," and "The Election Incident Communications Plan Template." 

D3P's recommendations cover paper trails, audit practices, multi-factor authentication, access controls, log management, vendor agreements, end user training, incident response, and communications plans, in addition to details about the specific threats affecting voting systems, from the hardware to registration databases.

For more information, see the Associated Press and D3P.  

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Ninja
2/14/2018 | 2:09:25 PM
If you want good security in voting
EACH computerized voting site should be a simple NON INTERNET closed loop network unto itself - nothing outside the building.,  Cables from station to switch to system with a removable hard drive.  When voting done, drive is PHYSICALLY SIGNED FOR AND REMOVED UNDER HUMAN SECURITY to SECURE TRUCK to secure local office where data is UNLOADED and then drive destroyed.  No internet ever.  
Who Does What in Cybersecurity at the C-Level
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  3/16/2018
(ISC)2 Report: Glaring Disparity in Diversity for US Cybersecurity
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/15/2018
Voice-Operated Devices, Enterprise Security & the 'Big Truck' Attack
Menny Barzilay, Co-founder & CEO, FortyTwo Global,  3/15/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.