Monday, July 31, 2017

The Hill -- Hackers break into voting machines in 90 minutes

Organizers of the Las Vegas hacker convention proved how easy it actually is to hack into voting machines.

Prior to the 2016 presidential election, hackers probed election works in at least 39 states, according to a report by Bloomberg.

However, election officials have said that despite Russia’s hacking attempts, no votes were tampered with.

And the FBI confirms that conclusion. Election officials have cited the decentralized nature of the U.S. election system, which is state, county and sometimes even municipality-based as the reason: use of a one-size-fits-all approach to gain access and control of voting systems makes it difficult.

Finding a solution is important. Election meddling has become a major geopolitical problem both in the United States and worldwide.

To prove voting machine vulnerabilities, “Hackers at a conference in Las Vegas were able to successfully breach the software of U.S. voting machines in just 90 minutes on Friday, revealing major security deficiencies in America's election infrastructure.

Techies at the annual DEF CON were given physical voting machines and remote access. The machines bought on Ebay, were made by major U.S. voting machine companies Diebold Nixdorf, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Winvote.

Within minutes the hackers exposed physical and software vulnerabilities. Some devices had physical ports to which devices could be attached containing malicious software. Wi-Fi connections on others were insecure. Others were running outdated software with security vulnerabilities like Windows XP.

Robert Reich asks,“Why isn’t the Trump administration focusing like a laser on this, instead of the trumped-up claim of voter fraud? Why isn’t Congress? Why aren’t the states?

Folks, this is a big deal. Our foreign adversaries -- including Russia, North Korea, and Iran -- have the capabilities to hack into our voting systems, undermining our democracy and threatening our national security.”

By John Bowden