As the presidential contenders are vying for the top spots for the nation’s government, campaign apps are being launched left and right (whether official or from third-party developers) on the App Store and in Google Play. However, as the Republican presidential candidates duke it out as to whoever can best protect America, at least two of the contenders are having trouble protecting their potential voters’ personal data for their own apps.
Campaign Apps for Cruz and Kaslch Risk Leaking Information to Hackers
The official campaign apps for candidates Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich are now currently (at the time of writing) under scrutiny after a report on Monday from cyber security firm Symantec found out that the apps’ user data was improperly secured and are therefore very vulnerable to hacking operations.
As for the official campaign mobile apps for presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, their applications were not mentioned in the report by the cyber security firm. The analysis that Symantec reported used a test wherein they collected unencrypted personal information that are being transmitted from phones that are running the aforementioned applications.
Shaun Aimoto, Symantec engineer, said the following: “The data may be going to a legitimate destination, but it could be intercepted by someone intercepting the traffic.” Chris Wilson, Cruz data director, denied that the official app leaks any information. “If Symantec had looked more carefully, they would see that the app requests the device info but this info is never sent anywhere,” the Cruz data director said. “The Cruz Crew app is the most secure, popular and effective app of any 2016 presidential candidate.”
Rob Nichols, Kasich spokesman, denied to comment on the matter. However, it was not only on Monday’s report that the Cruz and Kasich apps have been under the seeing eyes of people. In an independent review that has been commissioned by the Associated Press in March from Veracode, which is a computer-security company, they have found out that the “Cruz Crew” app had established poor code practices and also used weak encryption. This makes the personal information of their users potentially susceptible to hacking activities. For Symantec’s report, however, did not list any instance as to the aforementioned apps were hacked.
The Cruz team had since updated their campaign app in order to address the vulnerabilities of their users’ data. As for the app for Kasich’s campaign, it still contains the serious issue of vulnerability for a hacker to potentially manipulate various information, as the March Veracode review had found out.