Can Blockchain Technology Secure Digital Voting Systems? Kaspersky Lab Challenged 19 Universities with Protecting e-Voting from Cyberattacks in Competition; Awards Three Top Finalists

WOBURN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#blockchainKaspersky
Lab
today announced the winning collegiate teams in its
Cybersecurity Case Study Competition, hosted by The Economist’s Which
MBA? site
. The grand prize winner was New York University, second
place was awarded to University of Maryland, College Park and Newcastle
University received third place.

Over the past few weeks, 19 teams from universities in the U.S. and UK
were challenged to create a blockchain technology solution for securing
digital voting systems. Participants provided written and video
submissions detailing their proposals on blockchain-compliant systems
that addressed specific security challenges, including voter privacy,
undecided voters, voter fraud and more.

“I want to wish congratulations to New York University for their victory
in the 2016 Cybersecurity Case Study Competition,” said U.S. Congressman Jerrold
Nadler
(D-NY). “Today, STEM education is more important than ever as
Americans face increased competition from abroad for the well-paying,
high-skill jobs of tomorrow. America has always been at the forefront of
technological innovation and it is higher education programs, like the
one at NYU, that will ensure we remain there.”

U.S. Congressman Steny
H. Hoyer
(D-MD) also offered his congratulations to the
Maryland-based finalists: “I’m proud that the University of Maryland,
College Park, has been recognized as one of the leading centers for
cybersecurity research in the country. In Congress, I’ve worked closely
with President Loh, state leaders and federal education and national
security agencies to highlight the benefits of investing in
cybersecurity research in Maryland, which boasts a top-notch education
system and proximity to critical defense, intelligence, and homeland
security infrastructure. As our nation faces new and challenging cyber
threats to our security and to our businesses’ intellectual property, we
must continue to invest resources in developing cutting-edge cyber
defenses such as those being designed and tested at the University of
Maryland, College Park, in Maryland’s Fifth District.”

Kaspersky Lab experts served as the judging panel, selecting the top
three proposals out of the 19 submissions. Additional information for
each award-winning submission is below:

  • New York University: In first place, and recipient of the
    $10,000 grand prize, was New York University. The university’s
    submission proposed the usage of a “permissioned blockchain”
    configuration, in which a central authority admits voting machines to
    the network prior to the start of the election, followed by voting
    machines acting autonomously to build a public, distributed ledger of
    votes. In addition to addressing threats to the integrity of the
    system, NYU’s plan allows voters to tell if their individual vote was
    counted.
  • University Of Maryland, College Park’s Maryland Cybersecurity
    Center:
    Second place and $5,000 was awarded to the University Of
    Maryland, College Park’s Maryland Cybersecurity Center, which proposed
    a solution rooted in global public keys that encrypt ballots and
    provide voter receipts using randomly generated numbers. The
    university’s proposal also features cryptographic tree data structures
    that allow citizens to check if their vote was counted.
  • Newcastle University: Winner of $3,000 and third place was
    Newcastle University, which proposed a solution rooted in three
    protocols: the Open Vote Network, DRE-i and DRE-ip.

“The competition was very interesting and I was very impressed with the
submissions,” said Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab.
“There was a lot of good work there! The challenges of cybersecurity
mean the next generation of experts face a changing frontier – there
will be plenty of things to work on and securing digital voting systems
for national elections is just one example. If cybercriminals exploited
one small vulnerability, it could potentially change the course of a
nation’s history, and these young scholars are bringing us one step
closer to making secure digital voting a reality.”

To access the award-winning submissions from the Kaspersky Lab
Cybersecurity Case Study Competition, please visit The
Economist
’s Which MBA? site
.

About Kaspersky Lab (kaspersky.com)
Kaspersky
Lab is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky Lab’s
deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly
transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses,
critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The
company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint
protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services
to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million
users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000
corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.

About Which MBA? (economist.com/whichmba)
Which
MBA? is a division of The Economist Newspaper Group which offers a suite
of online products serving both prospective MBA students and business
schools. Our consumer products for prospective students include a GMAT
preparation course
, annual MBA
rankings
, and content on Economist.com. Which MBA? offers
multi-media advertising solutions for business schools ranging from
online MBA fairs, to traditional online and print mediums, to custom
white-label lead generation tools.

About The Economist (economist.com)
With
a growing global circulation (more than 1.5 million including both print
and digital) and a reputation for insightful analysis and perspective on
every aspect of world events, The Economist is one of the most
widely recognized and well-read current affairs publications.

Contacts

Kaspersky Lab
Jessica Bettencourt, 781-503-7851
Jessica.Bettencourt@kaspersky.com