Election systems in the United States, specifically e-voting machines, are extremely vulnerable to manipulation by computer hackers and outside adversaries, a report released Monday reveals.
The report comes as top national security officials discuss appropriate action to ensure the integrity of presidential elections in November. “The problem is the sheer absence of the technical aptitude required to understand the cyber, physical and technical landscape available for exploitation by adversaries,” according to the report, “Hacking The Elections Is Easy! Part II” from cybersecurity think tank, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT).
Every major electronic voting system in the United States is completely devoid of security and transparency, experts say.
Rather than produce robust, secure systems, manufacturers distribute “bare bones” proprietary systems with less native security than a cheap cell phone. Security researchers highlight the countless exploitable vulnerabilities in the proprietary black-box e-voting systems, stressing insufficient transparency, accountability or cyber-hygiene.
A University of Michigan professor showcased how easy it was to hack voting technology; he was able to infiltrate a voting system in Washington, D.C., from more than 500 miles away, according to Politico. The professor, Alex Halderman, also showed how easy someone could directly and physically manipulate a voting machine’s results with just a screwdriver and a few read-only memory (ROM) chips.
Revelations that the United States voting system is extremely vulnerable to computer hacks come after a series of high profile computer hacks were levied against the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton Foundation, and the email servers of major diplomatic officials, including former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell.
Authorities have warned states to be vigilant of potential cyber security attacks in the lead up to the presidential election Nov. 8.
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