Cybersecurity concerns may prevent one in four Americans from heading to the polls in November, according to a new survey by cybersecurity firm Carbon Black.
Carbon Black recently conducted a nationwide survey of 5,000 eligible US voters to determine whether reports of cyberattacks targeting election-related systems are impacting their trust in the US electoral process.
The results revealed that nearly half of voters believe the upcoming elections will be influenced by cyberattacks. Consequently, more than a quarter said they will consider not voting in future elections.
“Cyberattacks against our elections seed doubt in democracy,” said Patrick Morley, the company’s President and CEO, in a blogpost. “The idea that even a single voter is willing to forfeit their vote in fear of a cyberattack is startling.”
There have been multiple reports of cyberattacks impacting voting systems over the past year. Earlier this year, it was revealed that a misconfigured database containing the personal details of nearly 200 million US voters was left exposed online by a firm working on behalf of the Republican National Committee.
Just last month, 25-year-old government contractor Reality Winner was charged with allegedly leaking classified information from the National Security Agency to the press on Russian attempts to hack into the US voting system last year.
The NSA leaks resonated with survey respondents, with over half stating that the leaks negatively impacted their trust in the US election system.
To curb election security fears, Carbon Black recommends discontinuing the useof voter machines and creating a paper trail of votes in every state and precinct. The firm also suggests the need for stronger cybersecurity protection for online registration systems and voter databases.