One of the surprising problems this election has been Russia’s attempts to manipulate the election. Leaking emails, attempting to breach voting systems, and even allegedly attacking major internet services have all been major stories during the election, and the White House doesn’t think Russia’s done yet. In fact they’re bracing for a major cyberattack come Election Day.
NBC News talked to a number of intelligence sources, and the potential shenanigans range from attempting to drop a load of fake documents early Election Day morning to standard voter suppression behavior. The case study NBC used was Montenegro’s parliamentary elections, where Russia stands accused of spreading disinformation and using denial-of-service attacks and other hacking tools to knock out websites and create confusion. Montenegro’s pro-West party, which wants to join NATO much to Russia’s fury, held control and may enter as soon as this spring, but the chaos was so great, and the pro-Russian faction so vocal in attempting to use it to discredit the election, that Montenegro’s prime minister quit.
Some would scoff that there’s a difference between a small Balkan nation and a superpower with much more robust cyber defenses. And they’d be right, but unfortunately, all Russia really has to do is pitch in, as there are plenty of examples of vote suppression in America. One example of would-be voter suppression this election has already gone viral as an ad claiming you can send a text to vote targeted at Clinton supporters was revealed. Russia may be starting a new cold war online, but unfortunately, it may find Americans beating it to the punch.
(via NBC News)