85 Millions of voter records available for sale ahead of the 2018 US Midterm Elections
1.11.2019 securityaffairs BigBrothers
Ahead of the 2018 US midterm elections, sellers are flooding the cybercrime underground markets with data from voter databases.
Experts at cybersecurity company Carbon Black found tens of different state voter databases available for sale on the dark web.
“Carbon Black researchers found 20 different state voter databases available for purchase on the dark web, several from swing states.” reads the report published by Carbon Black.
“Critical information in these offerings included voter IDs, full names, current / previous addresses, genders, phone numbers and citizenship status, among other information.”
The availability of such kind of data exposes voters to sophisticated identity theft. Experts discovered data related to more than 81,534,624 voters from 20 states. Most of the records belong to New York, 15 million voters, and Florida, 12.5 million, and are available for sale since September 1.
Experts warn of the availability in the Dark Web of information and commodities that could be used to interfere with elections.
“Thousands of Instagram followers, Facebook likes, YouTube views and Twitter retweets are available for a small amount of cryptocurrency on the dark web. Some listings focus on selling “laser-focused” ads to make sure a message gets across to the recipients — most likely to respond to a campaign.” continues the report.
“Manipulating social media is a relatively low-cost endeavor, and hackers on the dark web appear to have tools at the ready for manipulating public opinion on major American platforms.”
Experts also discovered many hackers and hacking crews for hire that offer to target government organizations for several malicious purposes.
“Some of the hackers and hacking teams “offer to target government entities for the purposes of database manipulation, economic/corporate espionage, DDoS attacks, and botnet rentals.” states the report.
These services have a varying price that goes from hundreds to thousands of dollars per target.
According to the firm, election-focused cyberattacks pose real threats to Western political institutions. Sixtyeight percent of survey respondents, among the top cybersecurity professionals in the world, believe the upcoming US midterm elections will be influenced by cyberattacks.
Cyber attacks carried out by nation-state actors are even more sophisticated, state-sponsored hackers are looking to political propaganda operations, such as the 2016 Democratic National Committee hack.
Let me close with an alarming figure from the survey conducted by Carbon Black, “1 in 4 voters said they will consider not voting in future elections over cybersecurity fears.”