Currently, news on increased cyber-attack rampages is becoming a normality. In the US, hackers are continually vamping up their styles to gain access to government networks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cyber-Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently confirmed that cybercriminals leverage VPN and Windows bugs to conduct their attacks.
According to the two agencies, a group of hackers conducted a cyber-attack on federal and state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLIT) government networks.
However, these hackers did not direct their targets to the government only as per the security report. Within this year only, several ransomware-based crimes on crypto exchanges have hit the news raising the question of how safe user data and funds are. Furthermore, others in the private sector can attest to avoiding the arrows at a close shave.
A Probable Relation between the Cyber-attack and US Upcoming Elections
The nature of the cyber-attack raised several uncertainties in the intentions of the hackers. The two agencies noted a pair of security flaws related to the hack. The CVE-2018-13379 and CVE-2020-1472 seem to be a calculated move focusing on the Fortinet FortiOS Secure Layer and Netlogon.
The security alert report describes the former’s use as one to access enterprise networks from remote areas. On the other hand, the latter targets Windows servers to gain control over domain controllers and servers’ users or manage whole internal or enterprise networks.
Where does the worry come in? The security alert mentions that the CISA noticed unauthorized access to election support systems. It is a welcome worry even though the agency has no evidence to support any compromise in the election data.
Some officials went on to mention that, “Although it does not appear these targets are being selected because of their proximity to election information, there may be some risk to election information housed on government networks.”
Integrating Blockchain in Elections?
Earlier suggestions to integrate blockchain in US elections face continued failure and rejection. The US Postal Service (USPS) recently forwarded a patent explaining that the technology would make voting easier for military personnel overseas; furthermore, it described the safety embedded in the tech, further eliminating attack and fraud chances.
US President Donald Trump previously denied the mail-in voting facilitator funds for the same. In his opinion, the service is linked to many voting discrepancies. All the same, USPS’s patent shows blockchain’s possible use to avoid tampering, double voting, and proper verification of all voters.
Considering the recent cyber-attack, taking up USPS’s patent may be a good idea, according to many. Although it may be too late for the 2020 elections, blockchain may be an excellent addition to sustain US voting systems’ integrity in the long run.