Election interference is defined as an attempt by a government to influence an election in another country for political gain. Via covert and overt operations, both nation states and individuals have been able to accomplish regime change. The only thing that has changed in terms of foreign electoral intervention is the way current operations are conducted in a digital age.
The digital evolution has had a positive and a negative impact on election processes around the world. While information and news travel at a faster rate, the powers that be have leveraged this exposure for political gain and exploitation. The digital evolution of the election process has created a larger threat landscape than most anticipated.
Today, there are a few fundamental ways an adversary could digitally interfere with an election process. A malicious actor could interfere with an election through disinformation campaigns, information-based campaigns or disruptive attacks.
Disinformation campaigns can leverage social network bots to spam the world with misinformation to influence an array of people. Targeted disinformation campaigns make use of information and intelligence gathered from big data leaks and paid ad campaigns on social media platforms that target specific people and groups.