Can hackers infiltrate voter registration databases?

hackers

(CNN) – How far will hackers go to try and cause havoc this presidential election?

The critical state of Ohio has taken an unprecedented step, calling on the National Guard’s elite cyber unit to help protect the election.

“You called on them to essentially hack the state’s systems.”

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted responded, “We want to be tested. Cyber warfare is a new front for the military, for business and now for elections.”

Hacking voting machines in the nation’s nine thousand jurisdictions would be a tough task since they’re not connected to the internet or each other. There are also security measures but voter registration databases with names, numbers, emails and addresses are vulnerable. There were breaches in states including Arizona and Illinois.

Hackers could use voter contact information to send erroneous voting locations. Hackers could also wipe the database clean. Making names disappear from voter logs sparking confusion and long lines.

Maj. David Carpenter, Cyber Protection Squad said, “We call this room the hunter’s den. We are cyber hunters.”

The National Guard cyber team in Maryland is on standby to assist its state.

Major General Linda Singh runs the operation, “These are the folks who are out there responding to the snow storms, the floods, the hurricanes, but they’re not necessarily thinking that we are out fighting the technology war.”

Both here and in Ohio the goal is the same: identify and stop cyber intruders.

“You’re looking for anything that doesn’t look quite right, meaning malicious activity?”

Maj. Carpent responded, “Malicious activities, bad guys pulling information away.”

With the election just days away Ohio is confident your vote will count.

“How can you truly be prepared for something that really the country has never experienced before?”

Jon Husted responded, “It doesn’t mean a cyber attack couldn’t occur, which would create an inconvenience, but it’s not going to change any outcome of an election.”

Experts say it would be almost impossible to alter the actual vote count in a large scale manner that would change the outcome of an election.

Related: How the early voting process works

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