Election security, hacking | Homeland Security Newswire

Election securitySynack launches a pro bono Secure the Election initiative

Published 7 June 2018

Redwood City, California-based cybersecurity firm Synack has launched the Secure the Election initiative, a pro bono campaign to help states secure voting systems before 2018 Midterm elections. Other cybersecurity companies have been in touch with states about offering free, or reduced price, services to help secure elections.

Redwood City, California-based cybersecurity firm Synack  says that it is not a secret that the U.S. election systems are a target for the adversary this election cycle. States are working hard to button up election security ahead of November. “Rather than sit on the sidelines, Synack stands ready to take action,” the comp any says. “We want to help states scale their efforts to secure our voting systems because we believe that the best security comes from a united effort to stay a step ahead of the adversary.”

Synack CEO and Co-Founder Jay Kaplan, on 5 June 2018, sent this letter to the Secretaries of State of all fifty states the same day the company launched the Secure the Election initiative, a pro bono campaign to help states secure voting systems before 2018 Midterm elections.

Techcrunch notes that Synack, founded by two former NSA analysts, is known for its bug bounty program which allows its researchers to probe a client’s systems for vulnerabilities. The researchers then disclose those soft spots through Synack’s platform.

From now until 6 November, Synack will offer free penetration testing for voter registration sites and voter databases through its Secure the Election initiative.

The offer: “Each eligible recipient will be limited to one (1) free 14-day Synack Crowdsourced Vulnerability Discovery Test of an online voter registration website or remotely-accessible database that is expected to be used in the November 2018 mid-term election.”

Techcrunch notes that it is possible that states uncomfortable with the federal government’s involvement in state and local elections will be less apprehensive about help coming from the private sector. DHS has stepped up its role in securing elections, but federal resources, including cybersecurity audits, remain opt-in.