No matter their political persuasions, there’s one thing that election-watchers agree about the recent midterm election: The worst-case scenarios failed to materialize. Voting machines weren’t hacked, voting rolls weren’t stolen or altered, and there were only limited incidents of social media attacks aimed at sowing political discord.
That’s good news. Electoral officials around the country, as well as the Department of Homeland Security were on high alert, eager to avoid a repeat of 2016 when Hilary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee were hacked. What’s more, hackers stole information from a state election website on 500,000 voters, including their names, partial Social Security numbers, addresses, birthdays and driver’s license numbers. They also targeted but were unable to get into the websites of 20 other states.
Clearly, there was reason for concern. And a month before the 2018 midterm election, Symantec’s DeepSight Intelligence report,” Cyber Threats to US Midterm Elections,” warned that “state-sponsored threat actors” would likely try to deploy similar tactics and raised the possibility that disinformation campaigns would take place on social media and other online platforms.