Election cyberattack would be more damaging than hurricane, expert says

Florida elections officials told to plan for attacks


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Federal computer experts told Florida's top elections officials that a cyberattack would be more damaging to their systems and reputations than any hurricane.

But only about a third of the state's 67 county election supervisors and assistants raised their hands Wednesday at their annual convention when asked if they have a specific plan for dealing with cyberattacks.

Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity adviser Matt Masterson told supervisors they're all targets, and their adversaries could be foreign governments or groups, criminals stealing information, political operatives or agents trying to reduce the public's confidence in democracy.

Florida is getting $19 million from the federal government to protect its elections systems from cyberattack, but Secretary of State Ken Detzner says the money won't be distributed until after the November election.