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 EU-funded project SPARTA T-SHARK program, which aims to establish a full-spectrum Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence Framework.   

For LMT’s study, researchers selected Latvian municipal elections in 2021 as a benchmark case. They monitored both network and on-site election activity within selected balloting stations, observing correlation in real-time data and highlighting further reliability improvements with 5G deployment. 

As the number of online components and equipment within the election process increases, so do cybersecurity risks, including hybrid threats that are associated with meddling and interference in the election process. The 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 cannot 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 polling day activities. It may contribute to reducing false claims of stolen elections and the legal consequences associated with it.  

Read LMT’s full research here.

The SPARTA project is an ambitious European R&D project carried out within the scope of H2020 (No. 830892). It aims to create a European Cybersecurity Research & Innovation Roadmap for building strategic digital autonomy in Europe. SPARTA unites 44 participants from 14 EU countries.  

The project is coordinated by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and LMT is the only project partner from Latvia. LMT’s tasks include providing 4G/5G network infrastructure for data sharing, testing the T-SHARK program, and researching network infrastructure usage in the municipal elections. Additionally, LMT cooperates with Cert.lv and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences on implementing the SPARTA project.