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States are trying new tech to detect cyber-meddling in elections

States are trying new tech to detect cyber-meddling in elections
[Photo: Dsw4/Wikimedia Commons]

Twenty-nine states are working with the Department of Homeland Security to install what are known as “Albert sensors” to detect when hackers or foreign states try to meddle in elections, reports Bloomberg. The sensors are named after Albert Einstein and detect traffic coming into and out of computer networks. The system then funnels suspicious activity to a federal facility, which can then alert states something fishy may be going on with their election systems.

However, though the sensors are a step in the right direction, experts say their usefulness is limited. That’s because the sensors can only detect suspicious activity–not block it. Also, of the 29 states that are currently using them, the sensors are not installed at most of the 9,000 local jurisdictions in those states where votes are actually cast.

The sensors were previously used to help the federal government establish that Russia targeted voter registration databases in 21 states in 2016. With several primaries in multiple states next month and the midterm elections coming up this fall, no one wants to see a repeat of past election meddling–especially the DNC.

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