As Hackers Work Harder Candidates Must Focus on Protecting Their Websites
WASHINGTON, D.C. — No one wants to talk about it. There is something that politicians don’t want you to know. It’s understandable considering politicians are not in the habit of displaying weakness. The reality is that many campaign websites are insufficiently protected from hackers and fraudulent sites. ElectionMall CEO, Ravi Singh has pioneered this issue since 2000 and ElectionMall.com is a nonpartisan campaign and elections technology company that has emphasized the need to develop and implement campaign website security to protect the political process and the sensitive information resulting from donor and voter online participation. In light of the October 1st attack on presidential hopeful Duncan Hunter’s website, voters and donors need to pay attention.
“Security has not been a priority for online campaigns. Security breaches are typically addressed after the fact,” said ElectionMall Technologies, Campaign Guru and CEO Ravi Singh. “Campaign webmasters are generally untrained in the current information architecture needed to secure all their sensitive data from sophisticated hacking attempts.”
ElectionMall Technologies, Inc. was the hosting body for Congressman Duncan Hunter’s website, and responded immediately and removed the Turkish message. When contacted by the media, ElectionMall.com confirmed that no confidential or sensitive information was accessed.
“The Hunter campaign had purchased the basic security package. All the hackers were able to do were to add website images as a provocative way to grab America’s attention,” continues Singh. “It was fortunate that the Hunter’s campaign had purchased the minimum security and website protection. Otherwise, volunteer or donor information could have taken.”
“This is the biggest year for campaign website attack. What we are experiencing is a cyber-war in politics. Technology is changing so fast that it takes a whole team to out-think hacking strategy,” emphasizes Singh. “Both Republicans and Democrats need to be more proactive in securing their campaign websites.”
As the presidential race moves closer to the Iowa Caucuses, there have been multiple opportunities of mischief taking place online. According to a published report earlier this year by the Associated Press, Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s website contained a flaw that exposed volunteer’s private data information. Both Senator John McCain on his MySpace page and former Senator John Edwards in “Second Life,” were victim to hackers.
The idea of “phishing” and “hacking” is not new to political candidates as supporters of John Kerry’s campaign were victim to a fraudulent email solicitation campaign and in 2000, www.gwbush.com made headlines with an extremely unflattering spoof website of official campaign website, www.georgewbush.com.
Each year at the Campaigns and Elections Magazine Seminar in Washington, D.C. Singh always make a point to stress that consultants and candidates remember security issues when online campaigning. And just last year, Singh had the opportunity to address the National Association of Secretaries of State at their summer conference about the responsibility of government agencies to certify and authenticate campaign websites.
In light of growing online participation in politics, Singh used his company’s resources to create the Election Security Seal Program, which is the Internet’s first and only real-time Identity Assurance infrastructure for websites. In the fall of 2005, both Secretary of State Trey Grayson of Kentucky and Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron of New Mexico made history by being the first to adopt the Election Security Seal Program to certify official websites and online contributions.
About ElectionMall Technologies, Inc.
ElectionMall Technologies, Inc., established in 1999, is a world leader in providing Internet-based non-partisan solutions for elections and campaigns, effectively utilizing technology and business expertise to enable candidates, advocacy groups, or nonprofits to generate enhanced gains in awareness, funds, and votes. Electionmall.com is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in Los Angeles and Chicago.
For more information, visit http://www.electionmall.com or call 888-WEB-2-WIN.