John Carlin, chief in-charge of Nation Security Division at the Justice Department of United States talked about web security shortcomings in US elections and how European election could be tampered with using various hacking attempts. Several members of Democratic party including various Obama administration officials have criticized U.S response to hacking during the elections last year. Servers of democratic party were hacked and various internal working flows and inner structures of party were released. This year’s elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands might face similar challenges.
France, Germany & Netherlands Team Up for European Election Period
The officials in France, Germany and the Netherlands have decided to team-up and share information to make sure the elections happen without ‘influence operations’. It is speculated that the Russian hackers managed to influence United States elections by hacking into various state servers, leaking emails and spreading content via social media. Last May, Germany’s intelligence agency reported of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party and state computers being targeted by hackers.
Source of Web Attacks?
The hacking attempts have been majorly from Russia and Ukraine. Just like the United States elections, it is speculated that Russia will be the prime source of attacks. Attacking the web systems seems to have become a new way of influencing opinion and eventually results. The top hacked resources during election campaigns include:
- Websites of Candidates & Parties
- Web Servers
- Social Media Accounts
Types of Hacks made on Websites:
- SQL Injection attacks
- Scripting Attacks
- CMS Specific Vulnerabilities being Exploited
All these eventually leading to the website being down or a deface page on it.
“What we did was too late, we weren’t bringing deterrence at all to the table.” Carlin said during a panel discussion on election hacking at the RSA cybersecurity conference.
Looks like European nations are taking security more seriously unlike the American officials. With the heads-up received from America and seriousness of French Government (and other nations) towards cyber security, it is expected that European Elections will be much smooth with minimum security failures.