Security Experts vs. Conspiracy Theorists: Getting Ready for the 2024 US Election

Explore the warnings from cybersecurity experts about the 2024 US election. Learn about the proactive measures to safeguard the integrity of future elections.


As the United States gears up for the 2024 presidential election, experts in the field of voting and cybersecurity are sounding the alarm about serious threats. Recent revelations of attempts to access voting system software in several states have raised concerns about the security of the upcoming election. Cybersecurity experts have taken measures to safeguard the election process and disprove conspiracy theorists.

The Evolution of Election Technology

Although slow to adapt, election technology has come a long way in recent years. As late as 2004, according to the MIT Election Data and Science Lab, 10 percent of all Americans were still casting ballots on hand-counted pieces of paper. 

Although electronic voting machines became widespread in the 2010s and beyond, there has been controversy over the need for a paper backup system.

In 2020, mistrust rose about fraud and security related to electronic voting machines. Conspiracy theorists have claimed that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election due to fraud related to rigged voting machines. However, over 93 percent of votes in the election had a paper record to confirm accuracy.

Latest Election Security Concerns

Unlawful attempts to gain access to voting system software used for national elections have caused alarm. Two dozen voter advocacy agencies, cybersecurity experts, and computer scientists signed an open letter urging a federal probe before the 2024 election.

The breaches in question targeted voting equipment made by Dominion Voting Systems and Election Systems and Software, which account for over 70% of the votes cast across the country.

Possession of voting system software could enable individuals to disrupt the 2024 election, identify vulnerabilities, and test potential attacks. Furthermore, they could use their knowledge of the software to fake evidence of stolen votes, leading to misinformation campaigns or challenges to the presidential election results.

Election Software Vulnerabilities

A concern about the software used in voting machines is its susceptibility to cyberattacks. Cyberattacks could range from attempting to manipulate voter registration databases to tampering with vote tallies. The fear is that a well-coordinated cyberattack could undermine public trust in the election results and sow seeds of doubt regarding the legitimacy of the electoral process.

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Another issue is some states rely on ageing voting machines. The machines could lack essential cybersecurity features and receive infrequent updates. This outdated technology becomes a weak link in the chain, making it easier for malware and hackers to exploit vulnerabilities.

To address this, experts emphasise the need for robust cybersecurity measures. For instance, using a VPN for your computer, smartphone, and even a VPN for FireStick. A virtual private network (VPN) provides access to undetected and secure servers. It encrypts personal data and prevents IP leaks.

AI-Generated Threats

Another cause for concern as part of the 2024 United States election is the rise of AI technologies. AI technologies can generate falsified images known as “deep fakes.” Deep fakes involve manipulating audio and video to impersonate a public figure like a politician. AI-generated videos may end up circulating and spreading misinformation to voters.

To negate deep fakes, agencies must hire dedicated staff to handle cybersecurity threats. Although software providers developed automated tools to identify deep fakes, the technology has yet to prove accurate. Cybersecurity experts must take on a multi-faceted approach to security to uphold the electoral process.

Need for Collaboration

Government officials, political candidates, cybersecurity professionals, and software providers must work together to secure the upcoming election. Any staff with access to election systems must go through proper vetting. Background checks, access controls, and close monitoring help prevent any “inside job.”

An establishment of a national structure for election security would prove beneficial. Standardising election processes and implementing consistent security measures creates a more secure system that withstands attempts at any outside manipulation.

A Few Final Words

The unauthorised attempts to access voting system software and the potential for deepfakes to manipulate public opinion show the need for enhanced cybersecurity measures. Protecting elections from cyberattacks will improve voter trust and eliminate conspiracy theories about tampering. But only with proper cybersecurity tools and enhanced security protocols will it be possible to safeguard the upcoming 2024 election and beyond.



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