Tuesday, January 1, 2013

8th Grade Education and $10 Part: All You Need to Hack These Voting Booths

Voting stations will need to take extra precautions with the election of 2012 as a national laboratory has shown just how easy it can be to hack into an electronic voting booth.
Touchscreen Voting Systems Confirmed Susceptible to Hacking
In fact, Salon reports that all it really takes is about $10.50 and an 8th grade science education. The Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory, a lab run through the Department of Energy, was able to demonstrate three simple “man in the middle attacks” on touchscreen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems, like Diebold voting machines and Sequoia Voting Systems.
Watch the hacking demonstration:

In this hack, the voter still casts their vote and approves it as correct, but the information is intercepted by the hacker through the device they installed, which Salon notes didn’t require any special soldering. In terms of getting inside the machine to place the device, it’s as easy as “picking the rudimentary lock,” according to Salon.
As the researchers say, voting officials should shift their focus from just cyber attacks to those that are a bit more straightforward. Salon continues:
Voting machine companies and election officials have long sought to protect source code and the memory cards that store ballot programming and election results for each machine as a way to guard against potential outside manipulation of election results. But critics like California Secretary of State Debra Bowen have pointed out that attempts at “security by obscurity” largely ignore the most immediate threat, which comes from election insiders who have regular access to the e-voting systems, as well as those who may gain physical access to machines that were not designed with security safeguards in mind.

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