Computer Crime Research Center


Cybercriminals could steal elections

Date: October 11, 2007
Source: InformationWeek

Cybercriminals could imperil the 2008 presidential election and the U.S political process, according to a forthcoming book.

Titled Crimeware and edited by Markus Jakobsson, a professor at the Indiana University School of Informatics, and Zulfikar Ramzan, senior principal security researcher withSymantec (NSDQ: SYMC), the book details various forms of cybercrime. It is scheduled for publication in February.

The book's 10th chapter, Cybercrime and the Electoral System, by Oliver Friedrichs, director of emerging technologies at Symantec Security Response, explores the risks cybercrime poses to U.S. elections.

"It is important to understand the associated risks as political candidates increasingly turn to the Internet to more effectively communicate their positions, rally supporters, and seek to sway critics," writes Friedrichs. "These risks include among others the dissemination of misinformation, fraud, phishing, malicious code, and the invasion of privacy. Some of these attacks, including those involving the diversion of online campaign donations have the potential to threaten voters' faith in our electoral system."

In a phone interview, Friedrichs said that he believes the threat is significant and pointed to past elections that have felt the effects of cybercrime. "In 2004, phishers targeted the Kerry-Edwards campaign, which at the time was really seen as one of the campaigns that led the way in using the Internet to communicate with constituents."
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