Recent research by LMT shows that 5G can help detect election interference

25th May 2022

LMT has recently published a research paper providing a snapshot of current 5G feature capabilities and their potential for resilience-building against disinformation and election interference. The research was conducted within the T-SHARK program, which aims to establish a full-spectrum Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence Framework.

The research selected Latvian municipal elections in 2021 as a benchmark case study. Both mobile network and on-site election activity within selected balloting stations were monitored, observing correlation in real-time data, and highlighting further reliability improvements with 5G deployment.

The same elections were also analyzed by within the scope of the T-SHARK program in 2021, demonstrating how the incidents collected from the different data sources can be linked for further analysis and how full-spectrum cybersecurity awareness can benefit decision-makers.

As the number of online components and equipment within the election process increases, so do cybersecurity risks, including hybrid threats, associated with meddling and interference in the election process. Thus, LMT researchers concluded that 5G capabilities could be used as an early warning system to identify meddling during voting.

Moreover, it was found that 5G can bring additional benefits to improve the security and integrity of election systems both when elections use an online voter registration database or are held entirely online as electronic elections. However, it was concluded that 5G could not be used as the primary enabler for electronic polls and their cybersecurity. Still, it can support and improve security on the level e-elections’ cloud potentially requires.

Researchers emphasized that 5G’s main potential is found in the ability to provide a near real-time monitoring tool that detects abnormalities in the polling day activities. Such use of 5G may contribute to reducing false claims of stolen elections and the legal consequences associated with it.

Read LMT’s full research paper here.