Microsoft touts its software for preventing election hacks

Electronic voting could be protected with Microsoft election software.

Joe Raedle/Techhnews

Microsoft on Wednesday kicked off a demo of its ElectionGuard software aimed at protecting electronic voting systems from hack attacks. The tech giant says the software makes electronic voting systems more secure as concerns about cyberattacks continue to escalate. Over the past year, Microsoft warned 10,000 customers that they’ve been targeted or compromised by attacks from foreign nations.

Cyberattacks are being used to gain information and influence politics, Microsoft said in a blog post Wednesday. The attacks mainly come from Iran, North Korea and Russia, it added.

ElectionGuard lets people vote directly on a screen, get a tracking code to confirm their vote was counted and not altered and then get a physical, printed confirmation.

“ElectionGuard will be an important tool to protect the voting process and to ensure that all voters can trust the outcome of free democratic elections,” Microsoft said.

It’s already signed partnerships with two voting machine tech companies, with a third considering using Microsoft’s software, too. Columbia University will be testing out ElectionGuard in the 2020 presidential elections, Microsoft added.

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