Hacking Democracy: On Securing an Election

Casey Ellis, Tod Beardsley, Kimber Dowsett, Jack Cable, and Amelie Koran (moderator)

Democracy is the cornerstone of America’s Constitution, identity, and ideology, and this foundation was shaken during the 2016 Presidential Election. Four years later, we still have great lengths to go to ensure that the integrity of the 2020 Presidential Election, and any election moving forward, is protected.

The Senate approved a $250 million budget to assist with election cybersecurity efforts across the country, but is it enough? The Presidential Race is on but so is the race to secure the 2020 vote.

In this panel we’ll discuss the intersection of people, technology, security, and elections, with a focus on themes including:

  • The true scope of the problem when it comes to “hacking elections”
  • The biggest threats to the 2020 vote–threat modeling for disinformation, voting machine vulnerabilities, website hacking, and election manipulation
  • The role of hackers and coordinated vulnerability disclosure in building voter trust and improve cyber-resilience
  • The impact for the elections in the west at large, driven by the U.S.’s prominence as the champion for democracy.

As founder and CTO of Bugcrowd, Casey Ellis (@caseyjohnellis) pioneered the crowdsourced-security-as-a-service model.

Tod Beardsley (@todb) directs the security research program at Rapid7.

Kimber Dowsett (@mzbat) is the Director of Security Engineering at Truss, following 10 years in the federal government.

Jack Cable

Amelie Koran