We have heard about campaigns being affected by cyberattacks. However, it seems voters are not in a safe zone as well.
FREMONT, CA: In recent years, cybersecurity susceptibilities facing presidential campaigns are receiving a lot of attention.
An increasing number of presidential campaigns are taking steps for securing their network email. However, handfuls are actively giving priority to the protection of the most broadly used channels of attack: mobile devices.
At the same time, campaigns have harnessed mobiles as a fast and credible way to interact and to quickly and effectually target potential voters with communications and advertising.
Campaigns can gather sensitive and confidential information via mobile channels, including donor records, voter location data, campaign strategy calls, and unprotected conversations, and voter registration data. As mobile devices are the main way campaigns and staffers can communicate, susceptible devices offer fraudsters easy access.
Campaigns are one hand of the election vulnerability equation. On the other hand, are the individual voters.
As per the 2019 Verizon Mobile Security Index, about two-fifth of respondents experienced a mobile-related compromise that involved phishing. Mobile phishing empowers these attackers to target voters in ways not possible on conventional computers. Mobile develops many new attack channels, including messaging apps, social media, SMS text, and many more.
Now the question arises who is behind these attacks? In 2018, researchers of Lookout discovered Monokle, a complex set of custom Android surveillance ware tools which holds the potential of stealing personal data from an infected gadget and exfiltrating it. The U.S. government sanctioned this Russian-based enterprise because of its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
Stealth Mango and Dark Caracal were other campaign examples conducted by foreign governments, with the potential to steal photos, email, phone logs, documents, and even to access the microphone remotely.
To combat mobile phishing attacks, users must consider mobile security solution equipped with upgraded phishing protection, available in the majority of app stores.
Ahead of the elections in 2020, presidential campaigns must harness mobile security solutions that are capable of securing devices and internal app stores from compromise. These solutions should possess the capability of preventing campaign members from tapping malicious URLs that hide inside SMS, apps, messaging platforms, personal or corporate emails.
In contrast to the previous elections, there is much greater awareness of disinformation campaigns and election security amongst individuals. The attacks happened in 2016 has brought these crucial issues regarding election interference and misinformation in light.
With learning from past incidents, the government will continue to gain more knowledge of how to shield the huge number of attack vectors, thus enhancing campaign security.