Tech giants will help defend elections from hackers

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Tech giants will help defend elections from hackers

Will provide advice to Defending Digital Democracy project.

Harvard University has established a project to provide practical cyber security advice and solutions for political parties following widespread allegations of Russian interference and hacking in last year's US presidential elections.

The Defending Digital Democracy project was set up by the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, and is run by Erich Rosenbach, former US assistant secretary of Defence.

Rosenbach is joined by Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager Robby Mook, and Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign manager Matt Rhoades.

Alex Stamos, Facebook chief security officer; Google's infosec and privacy director Heather Adkins; and founder of security vendor Crowdstrike, Dmitri Alperovich, will advise the DDD project on cyber security.

The DDD said over the past two years, almost every election in the US and Europe has been affected by cyber attacks.

“Cyber attacks on campaigns and elections are a threat to our democracy and affect people of all political stripes,” Rhoades said.

"Foreign actors could target any political party at any time, and that means we all need to work together to address these vulnerabilities."

The DDD will seek to provide practical cyber security advice to political parties on how to defend themselves against hacking, and share threat information with parties, technology providers, and governments.

The project will also develop practical manuals to help political organisations improve their security postures, and develop strategies to credibly deter hostile foreign actors from cyber and information operations.

It will also assess blockchain and other emerging technologies that could help improve the integrity of systems and processes used for elections and democratic functions.

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