Defending Election Campaigns from Cyberspace

Presented at BSidesDC 2015, Oct. 18, 2015, 2:30 p.m. (50 minutes)

Electoral candidates from both sides of the aisle increasingly rely on the internet to promote their brands and to focus the message of their political platforms. Yet cyberspace isn’t safespace. How do voters know they’re viewing a candidate’s real website? How can voters ensure their online donations are actually going to a specific candidate or cause? Election cybercrime is a burgeoning area but little data exists on the size and scope of these unscrupulous activities. We wrote our own open source suite of tools to begin to measure the scope of this problem and used it to scan every single candidate running for the house and senate (1000+ candidates)in the 2014 General Elections. In this session we’ll discuss the results of our scans and explore how any candidates and voters can defend themselves online.


  • Kevin Franklin
    Kevin Franklin has several decades of technology experience. Currently Kevin is a Software Architect at Equifax Inc. redesigning internal systems and processes. He posses an undergraduate degree in Engineering from Mississippi State University and a masters degree in Computer Science from Southern Polytechnic University.
  • Joshua Franklin - Information Security Specialist at NIST
    Joshua Franklin has over a decade of experience working with election technology, and is an information security engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) focusing on cellular and electronic voting security. Prior to NIST, Joshua worked at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission gathering extensive experience with voting technologies. Joshua managed federal certification efforts and worked closely with local election officials, laboratories, and manufacturers across the United States. After graduating from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Science in Information Systems, he received a Masters of Science in Information Security and Assurance from George Mason University. **Joshua is presenting this work in his personal capacity.**


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