NCSC in Cyber Risk Warning ahead of Local Elections

Earlier this week GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned that some areas of the British electoral system could still be vulnerable to cyber operations, ahead of local elections scheduled for May 3, 2018. In recent years there have been widespread incidents of cyberattacks, using a variety of techniques, including DDoS attacks against government and media websites.

If you’re planning to write on this, please see below for some thoughts from Andrew Lloyd, President at Corero Network Security:  

“Whilst this week’s headlines have been dominated by the apparent “mass psychology” attempts by Cambridge Analytica (aided by Facebook) to influence voting intentions, the NCSC is rightly highlighting that the infrastructure of the election process may also be vulnerable. The UK’s pencil & paper voting mechanism largely protects the act of casting a vote, however, the cyber-threat is real for other election infrastructure such as voter registration web portals.

“Emboldened either by previous success and/or notoriety cyber-attackers will continue to exploit DDoS to make their election point; whether it’s, political, moral, or otherwise.  Frustratingly for the security services, it’s seldom possible to identify the attacker or determine the true source of the attack.  Where the DDoS traffic emanates from is almost certainly not directly related to the attacker, those who funded the attacks, or the geographical region they are located in.

“Given that we’re unable to deter or identify most of the attackers, we must protect the integrity of the systems being used for the democratic process. The latest always-on real-time automated DDoS protection solutions can keep systems online, and available for citizens and officials to access, at all times before, during and after putting pencil to the voting paper.”