Top Cybersecurity Challenges that Will Plague the 2024 US Elections

by Duocircle


National security is generally associated with protecting the borders, but in this hyperconnected digital world, there’s more to ensuring a nation’s safety than just safeguarding the borders from external threats.

You’d be surprised to know that cybersecurity attacks aren’t limited to individual organizations anymore; they present a greater risk to the entire nation! What’s worse? The consequences of these attacks can be far-reaching and grave, impacting various aspects of society, economy, and governance. This risk is especially heightened during elections. According to a report, out of  64 countries conducting elections in 2024, 20 of them, including the United States, are susceptible to high interference threats. 

It is clear that, as we approach the 2024 US elections, the risk of cyberattacks looms over the political landscape of the nation like an albatross. So, how do you ensure that the entire election process is conducted with integrity and fairness? It starts with cultivating awareness about the major cyberattacks that could pose a risk to the elections. 

In this article, we aim to shed light on the top cybersecurity challenges expected to impact the 2024 elections.


Phishing Attacks

The 2024 elections are just around the corner, and one of the biggest cybersecurity challenges that loom over the political landscape of the US is phishing attacks. Don’t be surprised (be wary) if you receive an email from what appears to be your local election office or a well-known political party. It could be an attacker trying to sneak sensitive information or direct you to a dodgy website. Yes, it is as scary as it sounds! 

It is not uncommon for attackers to send out fraudulent emails that mimic trusted entities, like election commissions or political parties, to mislead recipients about voting procedures, manipulate election outcomes, or even gain access to critical election infrastructure.

Unlike regular spammy emails that you receive almost every day, these emails are curated with a lot more thought and deliberation and have the potential to seriously mess up the election process if they target the right people


digital risks

Image sourced from


Ransomware Attacks

The next big cyber worry for the 2024 US elections is ransomware attacks! Imagine the plight of the entire country if suddenly all the key stakeholders of the election process are locked out of computer systems and have to pay for money to regain their access. That’s ransomware for you! These attacks can lock up important information about voters or even the results of the election until a ransom is paid.

Wondering how it is possible for cybercriminals to trespass the systems handling the elections? 

Thanks to their ever-evolving sophisticated techniques, ransomware attacks during elections are no longer a far-fetched reality. Moreover, the price you pay for such attacks is not just the ransom paid in cash but the damage caused to the nation’s election infrastructure and the atmosphere of uncertainty and fear created among the public and officials alike.


AI-Based Attacks

As you know, artificial intelligence (AI) has found its way into every realm of our lives; cyberattacks that target a nation’s critical infrastructure, especially during the election, are no longer uncharted territory for this technology. As this technology becomes smarter and more sophisticated, so do the malicious attacks executed through it. 

According to CISA, generative AI will introduce new risks to the 2024 election cycle. Thanks to its advanced capabilities, the adversaries recognize the potential of this technology to create highly convincing AI-generated content such as deepfake videos, voice messages, and even counterfeit election records. 

If you thought that only voters were the prime target of such attacks, you’re in for a surprise! 


AI cyber attacks


Threat actors also target election officials and vendors, aiming to access sensitive information or disrupt election operations. Imagine the magnitude of misinformation and damage these AI-driven techniques can cause!


Election Infrastructure Vulnerabilities

Physical and digital systems are critical to the election process and any damage caused to these systems could potentially jeopardize the polls and consequently the fate of the nation and its people. While most of the systems used during the process are state-of-the-art and highly secure, the scope of vulnerabilities still exists. 

But what exactly are these vulnerabilities? 

These loopholes, which can serve as entry points for bad actors, range from outdated software and hardware susceptible to hacking to insufficient encryption and authentication processes. 

Wondering what’s the extent of damage that these attacks can cause?

Such actions can directly affect election outcomes, unfairly and illegitimately benefiting one candidate or party over another. They can also severely hamper public trust and undermine the foundations of democratic governance. 


Foreign Threats

Cyberthreats are not always internal and to think that the US elections will be immune to these external threats would be juvenile of us.  Foreign entities, driven by their own interests, often try to influence election outcomes, spread misinformation, or even directly attack the infrastructure that supports the electoral process. The aim? Their intentions go beyond causing operational turmoil and spreading false information. Such attacks can lead to increased polarization between two groups and potentially even trigger social unrest

Did you know that only 4% of US states are fully prepared to detect and recover from election-targeted cybersecurity attacks? Considering the rising frequency and impact of cybersecurity attacks, the statistics are alarming! Moreover, the stakes could not be higher!

In the era of such grave attacks that have the potential to damage a country’s political atmosphere, how can we, as citizens, navigate this rocky terrain? As established earlier, awareness is the first step towards confronting this challenge and safeguarding the sanctity of the electoral process. Moreover, as we edge towards the 2024 elections, the urgency for strong cybersecurity shields, including phishing protection, and phishing awareness training is heightened more than ever.


DMARC Monitoring


Our team of experts at DMARC Report (A DuoCircle Brand) is here to help you secure your email communications and protect your organization from phishing and spoofing attacks with our tailored email authentication and monitoring services. To ensure the security of your election-related communications and infrastructure, get in touch with our experts at DMARC Report to learn more about our services.

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