It’s Halloween, but do you know what’s really scary? Based on FBI data, New York ranked number two with the most political hacking in the U.S.
The FBI says it investigated 14 hacking claims just in the last year.
According to an AP poll, nearly eight out of 10 Americans are concerned about potential hacking in this year’s election.
Sanjay Goel, the Director of the State’s Cyber Security Center, says countries trying to hack our election system is nothing new.
“People have always been trying to compromise other countries elections. The internet has made it much easier and more pervasive that they can do a lot more with that.”
In 2016, we saw how the internet can be used to try and sway the election process. This is why Goel says protecting candidates’ database systems is a potential vulnerability that can still be improved on. For example, when the Democratic National Committee was hacked, private and fake information was shared on the internet. This allowed for the possibility of foreign influence in our election system.
“Now how much did they influence the election, nobody knows for sure. That certainly is a ripe area for politicians to complain about.”
Another potential weakness in our election system is people trying to vote using dead people’s names. Goel says the best way to combat this is by providing more funding to local election offices so they can keep up on who should be on the voting roll.
“That’s a lot of work, you have over 170 million registered voters. That is one place where technology alone can not help, we just need to do the hard work of cleaning up our voting rolls.”
Despite all this, Goel says you should still not worry. Since the last election, the country has taken additional measures to increase election security and still has one of the more secure election systems in the world.
“I don’t think it’s a drastic crisis in the country that the elections are going to be compromised. I think there are places someone could hack in and maybe influence it locally, but overall, if you look at the overall scheme of things across the whole country, we are fairly secure in our election system.”