Russias Election Hacking Was Even Worse Than We Thought

first_img Last week we saw documents released by the Intercept demonstrating substantive Russian intrusion in the proceedings of the 2016 US presidential election. That was bad enough, as there was substantial evidence that an arm of the Russian military (the GRU) used spear-phishing attacks on officials handling voter registration, as well as on the systems themselves. But the revelations just keep coming, and now it seems that the involvement ran even deeper than we thought.A new report from Bloomberg says that the GRU targeted a company that developed voting software before using information gained there to attack computer systems in 39 other states. That’s thirty-nine. Out of a total fifty. Previously it had been presumed that Russian hackers only attacked voter registration, but this report suggests that they also skimmed information from voter databases and attempted, at least, to muck with the software running on ballot machines. For now, though, it’s unclear how successful the attacks were, but there is evidence to suggest that these attacks were far larger, broader, and more damaging than suspected.Most of this information corroborates what we’ve already seen time and again. At this point there are so many independent and converging lines of evidence, it’s hard to see what other explanation there could be.If that wasn’t bad enough, it seems this whole thing was just a dry run (much like the power-killing virus we reported on yesterday). As former FBI Director James Comey cautioned during his Senate hearing last week, “They’re coming for America… they will be back.”Bloomberg’s sources suggest that the real attacks will start just over a year from now, during the 2018 midterm elections and again in 2020. If that’s the case, and we don’t act quickly and dramatically, we may not have any hope of free or fair elections in the coming years. What’s worse, we may already be too late. If Russia does indeed have access to malware that can disable power grids at the scale of major cities, the former Soviet Union may have all the leverage it needs to stave off defensive counter-measures.While there’s still no evidence that Russia tampered with the vote counting process (those systems are, understandably the toughest to breach), that doesn’t mean they won’t in 2020 or even next year. Security experts have suggested that this first volley amounted to cyber-recon, albeit in apparent preparation for a much larger strike.Putin still denies this, of course. Saying that no state-sanctioned action was taken against the US, while also dropping a coy hint that “patriot[s]” may have intervened of their own accord, independent of the Russian Federation. But that kind of snarky claim doesn’t hold much when it comes from a man who has a penchant for making political opponents and critics disappear. “Off the books” doesn’t always mean “off the books.”In any case, there is some hope: the American electoral system is byzantine and silly. It’s still unlikely that actual vote counts could be altered easily, but they may not even need that. Voter suppression has a long history in the US (and around the world, honestly) and it’s far more likely that registration could be altered just enough to preclude people who otherwise would have voted. It’s been an exceptionally effective tactic for decades. No reason why it won’t come back.At this stage, with half the administration under active investigation for collusion with the Russian Federation, it’s difficult to see how anything would change at the national level to help secure these systems. Without a coordinated and concerted effort, the US might well be a puppet state before too long (if it isn’t already).In either case, this is yet more proof that the world as we know it is about to get a lot more complicated and the relative cyber safety we’ve enjoyed so far won’t last much longer. Everything You Need to Protect Against Web Threats for Just $9.99 a MonthGet This Ethical Hacking Training Bundle for 90 Percent Off Stay on targetlast_img read more

More people are booking flights to Latvia after it

first_imgMore people are booking flights to Latvia after it was revealed that the number of Brits visiting the country had risen to more than ten times the amount recorded in 2003.Statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that 50,000 trips were taken to the Baltic country in 2007, which is a marked increase from 2003’s figure of 4,000.Elsewhere, Slovakia saw a rise in British visitors from 4,000 to 43,000, while Poland saw the number of UK visitors rise from 49,000 to 402,000.Commenting on the figures, an ONS statement said: “The rise in visits to the new EU member states is part of a general increase in holiday trips abroad by UK residents in recent decades.”The statistics show that UK holidaymakers made a record 45.4 million holiday trips abroad in 2007, an increase of 56 per cent since 1997.”It was also revealed that Brits spent £32.3 billion on their foreign holidays in 2007, which is more than eight times the figure recorded in 1971.Part of Latvia’s appeal is its warm, sunny climate during the summer, which is influenced by the Baltic Sea. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedFlights abroad still popular despite the recession, figures suggestBrits appear to be booking flights abroad despite the ongoing economic turmoil, it has been revealed.More Europeans choose to book flights to the UKMore Europeans are booking flights to the UK, it has been revealed.More Brits travelling on flights to Sri LankaIncreasing numbers of Brits are booking cheap flights to Sri Lanka thanks to the end of conflict in the country.last_img read more