Election Integrity: Protecting National Security through Infrastructure Hardening
In January of 2017, the process and infrastructure used to carry out elections was deemed as critical infrastructure. This declaration puts the election process on a list of other critical infrastructures, each of which will have a devastating effect on the country if becoming incapacitated or destroyed (CISA, 2022). During election season, federal agencies such as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency work to preserve the integrity of elections through methods of physical security as well cybersecurity to protect critical components of election infrastructure. Election infrastructure is the combination of both physical assets and networks that each play a vital role in the election process. Components of election infrastructure include voter registration databases, IT infrastructure used in auditing and counting votes, physical polling systems, as well as the locations in which polling takes place (CISA, 2022). The goal of this research is to examine each component of election infrastructure and research instances of attacks and vulnerabilities associated with each component. Doing so will allow for the implementation of measures that can be taken to ensure protection against attacks targeting vulnerabilities in the election process. Past efforts to preserve the integrity of elections include the 2019 DEF CON Voting Machine Hacking Village which concluded that voting machines were vulnerable to enough for participants to alter voter data through exploiting numerous vulnerabilities including unrestricted ports, lack of BIOS security, unencrypted data storage, as well as unnecessary software installed on the machine (FEI 2020).
Key words: Election, Integrity, Voting, Security, cybersecurity, polling, vulnerabilities, critical infrastructures, federal agencies, IT
This is a metadata-only record.
Computer Science & Information Systems
- Event location
- Event date
25 March 2022
- Date submitted
20 July 2022
- Additional information
Dr. Bryson Payne