The personal details of tens of millions of people might have been exposed by a newly discovered bug in the official Joe Biden Presidential Campaign App called ‘Vote Joe.’ Tech Crunch reported that cybersecurity experts came across the vulnerability who immediately reported it to the app developers. The bug has been patched. The tech blog quoted a cybersecurity expert who said that up until the patch was issued, anyone has been able to trick the app into revealing anyone’s information by creating a contact on a smartphone with the voter’s name. Currently, there is no hard evidence that the bug has been used by criminals nor foreign states.
According to Tech Crunch, the app has been pulling more information than displayed. By intercepting the data flow, cybersecurity researchers found out that personal information such as DOB, home address, gender, ethnicity, and even political party affiliation, was also among the data the app was extracting from its users’ devices. A Biden campaign spokesperson said that they worked with their vendor quickly to fix the issue and remove the information in a statement to Tech Crunch. He also said that they are committed to protecting the privacy of their staff, volunteers, and supporters.
This is not the first time the DNC is experiencing technical issues or is a target of cyber-attacks. Russian hackers hacked the democratic party servers in 2016. The stolen documents were published online, and later tens of thousands of emails were leaked to WikiLeaks, with many claiming that this impacted the presidential elections in 2016. The threat continues as a recent alert, issued by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) office, warned that Russian hackers use a range of measures to denigrate former Biden’s campaign primarily. Last but not least, cybercriminals made their way into Twitter’s servers and hacked Biden’s official Twitter account in July 2020.
Similar data might already have been online anyway; however, the ‘Vote Joe’ app made it fairly easy for troublemakers who wanted to access US voters’ personal information. The multiple major data breaches over the last few years have shown that no one is safe; even the richest man in the world got hacked last year. The “new normal” has made people even more reliant on mobile devices, so having all connected devices at home protected is no longer a luxury but a necessity.