Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hack the Vote!

This is my surprised face:
“People weren’t thinking about voting system security or all the additional challenges that come with electronic voting systems,” says the Brennan Center’s Lawrence Norden. “Moving to electronic voting systems solved a lot of problems, but created a lot of new ones.”
The list of those problems is what you’d expect from any computer or, more specifically, any computer that’s a decade or older. Most of these machines are running Windows XP, for which Microsoft hasn’t released a security patch since April 2014. Though there’s no evidence of direct voting machine interference to date, researchers have demonstrated that many of them are susceptible to malware or, equally if not more alarming, a well-timed denial of service attack. 
“When people think that people think about doing something major to impact our election results at the voting machine, they think they’d try to switch results,” says Norden, referring to potential software tampering. “But you can do a lot less than that and do a lot of damage… If you have machines not working, or working slowly, that could create lots of problems too, preventing people from voting at all.”
The extent of vulnerability isn’t just hypothetical; late last summer, Virginia decertified thousands of insecure WinVote machines. As one security researcher described it, “anyone within a half mile could have modified every vote, undetected” without “any technical expertise.” The vendor had gone out of business years prior.
Stalin would have had them all shot.



Old NFO said...

So now we're into the level of cheat... sigh

Rick C said...

"Rather than decertify and decommission the vulnerable machines in 2007, the board allowed their continued use in 30 counties for the next seven years, assuring the public that the systems were nonetheless safe because they employed “strict security protocols.” Presumably, they were referring to the Wi-Fi network’s “abcde” password."

Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark. Well, it would if the vendor weren't defunct.

SiGraybeard said...

Stalin would have had them all shot.

Hate to say it, but Stalin had a point that's kind of hard to argue against. A little flamboyant, but "an example for the others" and all.