Press Releases

Fake News Influenced US Elections; Only Education Can Prevent it from Happening Again

Seattle – August 8, 2017 DomainTools, the leader in domain name and DNS-based cyber threat intelligence, today released the results of its DomainTools Black Hat Survey conducted at Black Hat USA 2017, revealing 82 percent of cybersecurity experts feel confident that the U.S. political landscape has been exploited by fake news. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents believe that nothing can prevent fake news from being created but a collaborative effort of proper education (73%), social media filters (46%), and websites on industry blocklists (29%) provide hope for preventing the influence of misinformation. Contrasting with
results from a survey of U.K. security pros, only half of U.S. security experts believe they have been influenced by fake news themselves.

“What I find most intriguing about these results is that despite an overwhelming sentiment that fake news is unstoppable, half of the respondents seem to feel immune to exposure.” said DomainTools’ senior security researcher and Black Hat review board member Kyle Wilhoit. “One thing I can agree with, the war of misinformation and fake news will continue to be successful until we have a solution that fully utilizes a combination of widespread education and technology.”

In addition to the state of fake news, the survey exposed the critical infrastructure most susceptible to a cyberattack in the eyes of cyber experts. According to the official 2017 Black Hat Attendee Survey, 66 percent of event attendees anticipate a successful cyberattack on U.S. critical infrastructure within the next two years. Drilling deeper, the DomainTools survey shows that electricity generation systems, such as power grids and nuclear power plants, and telecommunication systems, such as cell towers and satellites, are the most at-risk critical asset systems, putting enterprises and the U.S. economy at risk. Inadequate security architecture is the largest factor (63%) driving cybersecurity attacks against the U.S., although many (46%) believe the U.S. is an attractive target because it has the most to lose.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Eighty percent believe security teams are accountable to keep the enterprise secure, although the board and executives share in the responsibility.
  • Twenty-one percent believe the government should intervene and shut down fake news websites.
  • Thirty-nine percent believe that cyberwar is the current state of warfare.

The DomainTools Black Hat Survey was conducted live at Black Hat USA 2017 with C-level executives, directors, managers, researchers, and analysts equally distributed between small and large companies. Survey data is available by request.

About DomainTools

DomainTools helps security analysts turn threat data into threat intelligence. We take indicators from your network, including domains and IPs, and connect them with nearly every active domain on the Internet. Those connections inform risk assessments, help profile attackers, guide online fraud investigations, and map cyber activity to attacker infrastructure. Fortune 1000 companies, global government agencies, and leading security solution vendors use the DomainTools platform as a critical ingredient in their threat investigation and mitigation work. Learn more about how to connect the dots on malicious activity at or follow us on Twitter:@domaintools