Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Security of Post-Election Vote Count Top Worry: US Official

A top US official for election security said his biggest worry is the possibility of outside interference in a likely slow count of the votes the day after the November 3 presidential contest.

A top US official for election security said his biggest worry is the possibility of outside interference in a likely slow count of the votes the day after the November 3 presidential contest.

Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said that external actors could use hacks like ransomware and other cyberattacks against the infrastructure for delivering, counting and transmitting the votes, which includes the overburdened and understaffed post office and polling stations.

“I’m worried about election day on,” Evanina told the US Chamber of Commerce in a video briefing Wednesday.

“I’m worried about ransomware attacks. I’m worried about cyberattacks. I’m worried about the inability of people to vote because of cyber penetrations and ransomware.”

Ransomeware is a technique used by hackers to completely freeze and block access to all data on a system to extort payments.

Evanina warned that an expected surge in by-mail voting could very well leave the result of the contest between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden, as well as numerous congressional contests, unresolved the day after the election.

“We are in for a rocky 70-plus days coming up,” he said.

“We need to prepare as a nation that the election will not be decided on November 3.”

“We need to be patient, and understand that, with the mail-in votes that are coming, and the electoral process, we might not have a decided president on the morning of the 4th,” he said.

“It’s going to take some time to count the votes.”

Evanina said he remains on guard for foreign interference during the campaign, especially from China, Russia and Iran.

“We have other countries now that are getting in the mix because they think it works,” he said.

“Countries like Cuba, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, we have a lot of countries that are now playing the game.”

But the bigger concern is disruption of the count and of reports of the count.

Evanina noted that in 2014 Russian interference compromised the network of the election commission.

“So for me I worry about not up to the election, from the influence perspective, I’m worried about the interference perspective come November 3, 4 and all the way through November,” he said.

Related: Ransomware Feared as Possible Saboteur for November Election

Related: Foreign Threats Loom Ahead of US Presidential Election

Related: Senate: WikiLeaks Knowingly Assisted Russian Influence Effort Before 2016 Election

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join this webinar to learn best practices that organizations can use to improve both their resilience to new threats and their response times to incidents.


Join this live webinar as we explore the potential security threats that can arise when third parties are granted access to a sensitive data or systems.


Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Management & Strategy

SecurityWeek examines how a layoff-induced influx of experienced professionals into the job seeker market is affecting or might affect, the skills gap and recruitment...


The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


WASHINGTON - Cyberattacks are the most serious threat facing the United States, even more so than terrorism, according to American defense experts. Almost half...

Application Security

PayPal is alerting roughly 35,000 individuals that their accounts have been targeted in a credential stuffing campaign.