'Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America's Elections' Exposes Risks to Democracy

Rick and Christina Gables
HBO DOC KILL CHAIN THE CBER WAR ON AMERICAS ELECTIONS KEYART
HBO

In advance of the 2020 Presidential election, Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections, debuts on HBO Thursday, March 26. The film takes a deep dive into the weaknesses of today’s election technology, investigating the startling vulnerabilities in America’s voting systems and the alarming risks they pose to our democracy.

Kill Chain follows Finnish hacker and cyber security expert Harri Hursti as he travels around the world and across the U.S. to show how our election systems remain dangerously unprotected.

HARRI HURSTI MAGGIE MACALPINE VOTING MACHINES

HBO

As the film uncovers, despite official claims to the contrary, individuals and foreign states can employ a dizzying array of simple, low-cost techniques to gain access to voting systems at any stage – from voter registration databases to actual election results to malware that can be widely distributed and anonymously activated without detection at any point.

News reports and government agencies have chronicled dozens of seemingly random, unrelated security breaches in the past, but Hursti asks us to consider them as potentially part of a coordinated “kill chain” – a military strategy that employs meticulous, long-game attacks.

At the end of this kill chain: a breakdown in the public’s trust in elections and with that collapse, a loss of faith in the democratic process itself.

While outlining the startling ease with which votes can be altered, Kill Chain points to the clear, easy-to-implement solutions available to protect us against sabotage. Hursti’s journey is supplemented by wide-ranging interviews with subjects including four Senators, along with cyber experts and key figures in the election security community.

Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections, Premiere, Thursday, March 26 at 9/8c, HBO