Thirtyseven4 EDR Security: Election Year Cybersecurity Threats

According to the United States Constitution, a Presidential election is to be held once every four years, which places the next scheduled U.S. Presidential election for November 5, 2024. 

The 2024 election year season kicked off in Iowa with the Republican presidential primary on January 15th, which were then followed by New Hampshire’s. The first Democratic contest was held in South Carolina on February 3rd.  

With the 2024 elections now well underway, the Thirtyseven4 EDR Security ThreatLab cautions voters, election volunteers and officials to stay vigilant in the weeks and months ahead, because elections historically generate an abundance of old and new politically motived cybersecurity threats and opportunities for cyber-malice.

In a political election year, a greater risk of disinformation exists, and Thirtyseven4 EDR Security predicts an increase in the intelligence of disinformation and malicious-content, specifically due to advancements in “deepfake” technology. Deepfakes are AI-generated media that have been digitally manipulated to replace one person’s likeness (convincingly) with that of another.

Technology has advanced in exponential ways over the past four years and since the last election, which leads Thirtyseven4 to expect that political Deepfakes could play a (negative) persuasive role in the influencing and misinforming of voters in the 2024 election.

Deepfakes are predicted to be made of 2024 political candidates and/or political opponents and spread across social media.  These deepfakes will impersonate a political figure with the dubious intention of spreading misinformation and damaging reputations. To protect yourself from deepfakes, the Thirtyseven4 EDR Security team suggests being extremely cautious when consuming content online, and always verify and trust only information credited by reputable sources. It is also recommended to implement a system of checks and balances, because deepfake videos can be hard to identify.

Thirtyseven4 also warns of increased politically driven phishing and vishing attacks.  Phishing scams involve fraudulent, socially engineered e-mails and websites with the sole corrupt intent of stealing personal data. Vishing scams, on the other hand, are fraudulent phone calls, purporting to be from reputable companies, that deceitfully trick you into revealing personal information. During election cycles, phishing and vishing scams are seen in a variety of ways including donation scams, polling surveys and voter registration.  

If you are a registered voter, you have (or will) likely received texts, phone calls and emails from the political party you are affiliated with seeking to raise money for the political candidates running in your State or in the National election.  Be on the proactive lookout for donation scams. Cybercriminals capitalize on election-donors by impersonating campaign staffers or acting on a party’s behalf in attempt to solicit money from unknowing voters by impersonating the cause of raising money for a particular candidate.

The same vigilant warnings can be applied to voter registration scams where attackers trick non-registered voters to “register” their personal information, which may include confidential data, including driver’s license number, social security number, address, etc.  These deepfakes and scams are often managed through the façade of a fraudulent website where those details will then be sold on the black market or exploited.

Thirtyseven4 EDR Security suggests that you always do your homework on any person or organization that solicits a financial donation or requests (your) personal information to vote.  As organizations are evolving in accordance with computer safety precautions and guidance, so are hackers. It’s essential to stay informed and educated.  Do not open attachments from unknown sources or click on links embedded in emails, in text messages or on social media sites. These phishing scams are highly socially engineered to pique your curiosity, and they are no longer easily identified by poor grammar or spelling.  If you’re looking to donate to a cause/candidate, or register to vote, it is recommended that you go directly to the candidate’s official campaign page or your official State voter registration page, or local office.

Political surveys are often one way that candidates learn about their constituents. The bad guys know this too, and vishing schemes often take the shape of “election surveys” or polling inquiries.  If you receive a call saying that you are “being polled” for an upcoming election, please be vigilant and watch for this common vishing tactic: As the survey questions cease, the criminal on the other line may thank you and offer you a gift or gift card, however, personal information (address, credit card information, birth date) is requested for them to mail out the gift.   

Safe computing practices are not difficult, and most of them stem from common sense.  Just as we should not hastily cast votes and should research candidates’ positions on issues and the policies, they support…we should also not be quick to click on links, be duped by disinformation, or to be easily tricked by a phone call.  Just as each of our vote’s matter, equally essential is the safety of our personal information. 

Be aware and be careful as the election approaches!  There are more than just political candidates on the ballot this election season—our personal information, security and online-peace are at stake also.

Trust us to protect you.

About Thirtyseven4 EDR Security:

Thirtyseven4 EDR Security exceeds cyber security insurance requirements and includes:

• Advanced EDR Capabilities
• A.I. based Ransomware Protection
• Next-Generation Malware Engine
• Automated Curative Response
• Advanced Next-Generation Anti-virus protection
• Automated/Monitored/Dynamic Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) functionality
• A.I. based Ransomware Protection
• Next-Generation Malware Engine
• Automated Curative Response
• Removal of Current Antivirus Product
• Integrated Patch Management
• Anti-Keylogger modules
• Asset Management
• Firewall
• PC-Tuning
• Content Filtering
• Malware Detection & Removal
• Vulnerability Scanning
• Email Security
• Advanced Device Control

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