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Security Speaker Series: Prof. J. Alex Halderman (Univ. of Michigan)

31 Oct
Wednesday, 10/31/2018 1:25pm to 2:25pm
Computer Science Building, Room 151
Security Seminar

Cybersecurity Institute
Security Speaker Series

Title: Cybersecurity and U.S. Elections

Abstract:  Strengthening election cybersecurity is essential for safeguarding democracy. Attacks against recent elections in the U.S. and Europe demonstrate that cybercriminals and nation-state attackers are becoming more aggressive, even as campaigning and voting become increasingly reliant on computers. In this talk, I'll explain how cyberattacks on voting infrastructure threaten the integrity of elections and stand to undermine confidence in democratic processes. Computer voting raises serious security risks, from denial-of-service attacks that could disrupt voting to malware that could alter election outcomes. Although researchers have developed practical safeguards, they have yet to be widely deployed due to a lack of resources and political will. I will also discuss recent efforts to safeguard voting in the U.S., which suffered unprecedented politically motivated cyberattacks during the 2016 presidential election. This spring, Congress provided $380M in new funding to strengthen elections, but political obstacles and a lack of uniform standards mean U.S. elections are likely to remain at risk well into the future.
 

Bio: J. Alex Halderman is Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research spans computer and network security, applied cryptography, security measurement, censorship resistance, and electronic voting, as well as the interaction of technology with politics and international affairs. His recent projects include ZMap, Let's Encrypt, and the TLS Logjam and DROWN vulnerabilities. Prof. Halderman has performed numerous security evaluations of real-world voting systems, both in the U.S. and around the world. After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, he advised recount initiatives in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in an effort to help detect and deter cyberattacks, and in 2017 he testified to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee about cybersecurity threats to election infrastructure. He was named by Popular Science as one of the "brightest young minds reshaping science, engineering, and the world."

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