Technology The head of the Pete Buttigieg cybersecurity campaign resigns

The head of the Pete Buttigieg cybersecurity campaign resigns

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Pete Buttigieg campaigning in Nashua, New Hampshire, on January 4, 2020.
Photo: Mary Schwalm (AP)

Democratic candidate for president and former cybersecurity campaign official of the Indiana mayor's campaign, Pete Buttigieg, has resigned, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The Buttigieg campaign confirmed to the newspaper that the employee in question, the head of information security Mick Baccio resigned, although "he retained a new security firm and remains committed to digital security and protection against cyber attacks." Another source told the Journal that the resignation was due to an internal dispute over how to administer security, although more details were not communicated immediately.

It is known that none of the other Democratic campaigns for the presidency have had a full-time staff member with similar responsibilities. That It is more than a little worrisome, given the huge role played in the 2016 elections by a controversy over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton private mail server (including classified documents) and a separate hacking and subsequent leakage of the inboxes of the supposedly planned Democratic Party officials by Russian military intelligence officers.

in a statement to TechCrunchBaccio said he "hAd fundamental philosophical differences with campaign management regardingThe architecture and scope of the information security program ”. Baccio had previously told attendees Cyberwar conference that implied its role preventing a 2016 fiasco recurrence, with a particular focus on avoiding nation-state interference. Other duties included keeping watch any possible "Deepfakes" seeking to defame the candidate or leakage of sensitive fundraising, strategy, and voter data from external providers that work with the campaign. A former threat intelligence team leader in the administrations of Barack Obama and Donald Trump, Baccio He was also in charge of ensuring that campaign officials used basic security measures such as encrypted messages and two-factor authentication.

According to the Journal, Baccio said in Cyberwarcon that devoting adequate resources to these tasks could be difficult because "Every dollar we spend on cybersecurity is a dollar we don't spend on ads in New Hampshire or Iowa." One way they had protected themselves against deep fakes, he added, was to keep Buttigieg camera as often as possible to have an independent record of your movements.

Baccio He also alluded to the potentially brief nature of the position with the Buttigieg campaign, by Cyberscoop: "Initially I wasn't going to do it. The nature of the work is very temporary. We all know the Iowa caucus. It's a really important date, all the primary ones. This work could end in March… IIt can end at any intermediate point if there is a political or media problem. It's not a really good point of sale. "

While individual political campaigns could fall prey to hackers, caution about the potential vulnerability of large-scale US elections has grown before the 2020 elections. Democrats in Congress have pressed for significant increases in federal financing to protect state and local electoral systems through the Federal Electoral Assistance Commission. Reports have consistently found that the nation voting systems They are highly dependent in outdated or vulnerable technology, such as paperless voting machines that do not create physical voting records.

House Democrats and Republican leadership in the Senate finally reached a compromise position of about $ 425 million it will be spent in 2020, although it is likely that it will be too late to make a small difference before this year's elections (Democratic Presidency the elementary schools in Iowa and New Hampshire will begin in less than a month)

Shelby Pierson, executive of electoral security threats in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, recently he told NBC News that "The threats as we move forward in 2020 are more sophisticated. TThis is not a problem only for Russia. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, non-state hacktivists have the opportunity, the means and the potential motive to come after the United States in the 2020 elections to achieve their goals. ”He added that, among other things, security officials had identified voting machine reports incorrectly Conected to internet as indicating potential vulnerabilities.

. (tagsToTranslate) elections 2020 (t) cybersecurity (t) elections (t) pete buttigieg (t) technology (t) electoral interference (t) electoral security (t) russia (t) will go (t) china (t) Gizmodo

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