Vulnerabilities / Threats

2/13/2018
05:20 PM
50%
50%

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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
REISEN1955
50%
50%
REISEN1955,
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.  
White House Cybersecurity Strategy at a Crossroads
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  7/17/2018
Lessons from My Strange Journey into InfoSec
Lysa Myers, Security Researcher, ESET,  7/12/2018
What's Cooking With Caleb Sima
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  7/12/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2016-9574
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
nss before version 3.30 is vulnerable to a remote denial of service during the session handshake when using SessionTicket extension and ECDHE-ECDSA.
CVE-2017-2673
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
An authorization-check flaw was discovered in federation configurations of the OpenStack Identity service (keystone). An authenticated federated user could request permissions to a project and unintentionally be granted all related roles including administrative roles.
CVE-2017-7481
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
Ansible before versions 2.3.1.0 and 2.4.0.0 fails to properly mark lookup-plugin results as unsafe. If an attacker could control the results of lookup() calls, they could inject Unicode strings to be parsed by the jinja2 templating system, resulting in code execution. By default, the jinja2 templati...
CVE-2018-12911
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
WebKitGTK+ 2.20.3 has an off-by-one error, with a resultant out-of-bounds write, in the get_simple_globs functions in ThirdParty/xdgmime/src/xdgmimecache.c and ThirdParty/xdgmime/src/xdgmimeglob.c.
CVE-2018-14404
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-19
A NULL pointer dereference vulnerability exists in the xpath.c:xmlXPathCompOpEval() function of libxml2 through 2.9.8 when parsing an invalid XPath expression in the XPATH_OP_AND or XPATH_OP_OR case. Applications processing untrusted XSL format inputs with the use of the libxml2 library may be vulne...