back to article US election workers slammed with phishing, malware-stuffed emails

Election workers in US battleground states have been hit by a surge in phishing and malware-laced emails in the run up to their primaries and the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. That's according to Trellix security researchers, who said malicious emails sent to Arizona county election workers rose 78 percent, from 617 to 1, …

  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Airgap the systems that manage electoral data from those that can receive mail. Make it a criminal offence to break that air gap, and jail the first few people who are caught doing so as a lesson to the others.

    This isn't rocket science, the military have long experience in handling data at varying levels of confidentiality, and many software suppliers have off-the-shelf systems which can support those models. Why do electoral systems not have the same requirements?

    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Mainly because a certain US party is not interested in election security. If it were, then we would have things like a requirement to show a photo ID to vote, regular voter roll purging with a requirement to send a purge notice to a voter's last known address, in-person voting required for anyone not out of the US for military duty, ect. I'd even support some third world protections like indelible dye on a finger when you cast your vote.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Meanwhile the other US party is more interested in voter suppression, gerrymandering, stacking the deck with their own corrupt election officials, and generally making it harder to vote for anyone who is an "other", because the popular vote hasn't gone their way in years, and the only way they stay in power is by underhanded if not illegal means.

        ... there, see? Everyone can paint with a broad brush.

        The issues you claim, whether real or imagined, are orthogonal to the original post about air-gapped voting systems and similar sensible measures. Your attempt to assign blame or equate one with the other is false equivalency at best.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "I'd even support some third world protections like indelible dye on a finger when you cast your vote."

        That would be going too far and messy to boot. Showing a photo ID is the simplest thing. Every state I know will issue a photo ID for free if the person can show they are poor. Some states don't even bother to set a charge for one in the first place. Dead people should get deleted right away. If it turns out they voted after they died, somebody in their household needs a visit. If you don't vote for some time, you get dropped. File a change of address with the post office, you have to re-register. In person voting only unless physically unable to get to the local polling place or for somebody that works in emergency/health services. You can also get one absentee ballot every few years if you are going to be gone on the date. Two days should also be allocated. That would allow everybody that can't get to the polls due to work to have two chances.

        What I see as being very insulating are the people that say requiring a photo ID disproportionately affects people of color and the poor. Being non-caucasion (which is what they mean) and/or poor doesn't make you stupid. Lots of poor people and people of color manage to procure an ID to get government benefits. I know that in the US there isn't supposed to be a test to be allowed to vote, but somebody that can't manage to get an ID probably shouldn't be allowed to vote. It's a very low bar to get over.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > It's a very low bar to get over.

          In theory but not always.

          Not when corrupt officials with an agenda set up barriers (bureaucratic and otherwise) to obtaining ID's and registration, which disproportionately affect a class or population or area, especially one known to be different from the officials' preferred candidate or party.

          Similarly, voting access itself should have very low barriers to entry, and yet there are instances where easy access (regardless of ID or registration etc.) has simply been removed, or diminished to drastic proportions; the removal of ballot boxes and polling places from areas seen as opponents by theoretically neutral but actually hostile and corrupt election officials, is an example.

          So while it's true enough when you say "poor people and people of color manage to procure an ID", a caveat sometimes should be added: "in spite of agenda-driven people trying to prevent them".

          Yes, if the system were allowed to work without interference, the methods and practices you describe would generally be pretty reasonable. But corruption and "gamesmanship" (to put it mildly) exist, and voter suppression is a real thing.

        2. Robert 22

          They tend to throw in requirements for all sorts of documentation that people who have recently moved or are homeless will have trouble providing. The business of purging voter rolls hits those people as well. And the laws are enforced in an uneven way. Governor Youngkin's son, who was not old enough to vote, tried to vote at two locations in the 2020 election without incurring any legal consequences.

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