Cybersecurity experts said Saturday that hackers could find and exploit the data compiled by President Donald Trump’s voter-fraud commission, Politico reports.
“It is beyond stupid”, Nicholas Weaver, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley, told Politico. Weaver and others warned that the commission could create a trove of data that could be used for identity theft efforts, even for disinformation campaigns by foreign spies.
“The bigger the purse, the more effort folks would spend to get at it,” Joseph Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a digital advocacy group, told Politico.
“And in this case, this is such a high-profile and not-so-competent tech operation that we’re likely to see the hacktivists and pranksters take shots at it,” Hall warned.
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which Trump formed last month by executive order, asked the 50 secretaries of state this week for the data, in his quest to prove that illegal votes cost him the popular vote in November’s election.
At least 25 states have balked at the request, with many citing privacy issues and related concerns.
Cyber security experts told Politico that the criminals and foreign intelligence agencies could use the data to create false identities or to “complete dossiers on Americans they hope to blackmail.”
“This information is particularly sensitive because it can be matched up with other stolen or publicly available information to build a more complete profile for an individual and target them for fraud or other exploitation,” said Jason Straight, a data breach expert and chief privacy officer at a Kanas business solutions company.