The “Secure the Election” initiative the ethical hacking company launched in 2018 to offer crowdsourced penetration testing to election officials, has continued into 2020. The company says that it’s committed $1 million toward the initiative, which allows white-hat hackers to expose an election system’s vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by a malicious actor. The penetration testing itself will expose how many and which servers an election system has connected to the internet, as well as whether a state’s online voter registration system connects directly to its voter registration database, and whether that database can be accessed by any other government agency, like a motor vehicle agency.
One state that’s taking advantage of Synack’s services is Colorado, where the office of Secretary of State Jena Griswold has the company testing anything that’s internet-connected, including electronic poll books. “We need to know [vulnerabilities],” Griswold’s chief information officer, Trevor Timmons, told StateScoop in July. “We’ve got enough time that if they found anything we’d be able to respond to them.”