36 states are using this hacking detection sensor to protect the midterm elections

Albert sensors can detect hacking attempts and alert the government agencies quickly.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
2 min read

Voting booths. (GREGG NEWTON/AFP/Getty Images)


The US is beefing up voter system security in preparation for the 2018 elections.

Most US states have employed Albert sensors, a technology that could detect hacking attempts and send alerts to federal and state government agencies, Reuters reported.

This comes after Russian hackers reportedly breached voter registration databases in Illinois and Arizona. These databases are critical when it comes to verifying a voter's identity when he or she casts the vote at polling stations.

As of Aug. 7, 36 states had installed Albert sensors in their election systems, according to Reuters. The sensors are designed after a system that used to guard federal government networks, Bloomberg reported. They reportedly can't block cyberattacks, but they can send suspicious information to a federal and state information-sharing center near Albany, New York. Government agents can then reportedly attempt identifying if it's actually a hacking attempt and notify the states more quickly.

Jeanette Manfra, a top cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security, also sat down with CNET earlier in February to discuss different ways hackers can interfere the midterm elections.

"Pretty much anything is going to have some vulnerability that somebody is going to try to exploit," Manfra said during the interview.

The Department of Homeland Security didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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