Despite Warnings, Elections in 13 States Vulnerable to Hackers

Although state elections officials have preformed dramatically better with some of the basics of office cybersecurity, there are still 13 states that would be vulnerable to an average hacker despite being warned of the vulnerabilities, according to a new report issued by cybersecurity auditor NormShield.

In July, NormShield audited how state election authorities in all 50 states, D.C. and the territories handled common security functions and found that an average hacker would be able to breach the systems of 27 states.

The report detailed particular trouble states had with keeping patches up to date and in preventing stolen credentials from showing up on the dark web, although states generally performed well in other areas.

NormShield chief security officer Bob Maley, who also is a former chief information security officer for Pennsylvania, explained that leaked credentials can be a problem, even if they don’t provide access to official accounts, according to Axios.

Maley also stressed that election officials shouldn’t be using their official email addresses to sign up for personal online accounts.

Following the first report, NormShield informed states of what they discovered and carried out a new test last month to see if the states could improve the situation in preparation for the 2020 elections

NormShield found that states preformed much better the second time, although 13 of them still did not receive a good grade

A main reason found for the problems was the web servers that the election boards use are older operating systems and programs that are at or near their end of life.

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