US Voting Machines Hacked In Just 90 Minutes

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 31, 2017

Dozens of machines of the kind used in the USA voting system were easily hacked in the first event of its kind at the annual DefCon security conference held in Las Vegas over the weekend, adding to long-standing concerns about the security of such devices.

Some devices were found to have physical ports that could be used to attach devices containing malicious software.

According to the Register, the hackers at the DEF CON conference Friday were given voting machines, and competed to access them by physically breaking them open and hacking them remotely. Others relied on insecure Wi-Fi connections or were simply running outdated software like Windows XP.

The machines used in this challenge were manufactured by major voting machine companies in the United States, inclduing Diebold Nixorf and Winvote.

One of the booths was wirelessly hacked by a participant, the publication reported.

All but one are still actively used in elections, and the decommissionned model, Advanced Voting Solutions' (AVS) WinVote system, was only taken out of service in 2015, organisers said. Thanks to the contributions of the hacker community, we've uncovered even more about exactly how.

"The scary thing is we also know that our foreign adversaries - including Russia, North Korea, Iran - possess the capabilities to hack them too, in the process undermining the principals of democracy and threatening our national security".

Advocacy group Verified Voting said it is pushing for the required use of paper ballots and mandatory auditing computers ahead of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections and 2020 presidential elections. In the words of former FBI Director James Comey, 'They're coming after America. The site claims that such activity would have been detected and logged.

The event exposed glaring deficiencies in the security of US voting infrastructure.

He was one of the computer hackers invited to the Defcon convention in Las Vegas to test the security and integrity of common pieces of voting technology, many of which were purchased more than a decade ago and are rapidly becoming obsolete.

The Register reported that the challenge was designed by Jake Braun, the Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Global Advisors and Managing Director of Cambridge Global Capital. The Russian president has, however, denied the allegation.

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