9 votes

An 11-Year-Old Hacked Into a U.S. Voting System Replica in 10 Minutes This Weekend

4 comments

  1. [2]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    An important caveat - the kids didn't hack electronic voting machines themselves (which certainly have their own flaws, but weren't the target here), but the type of results pages you often see on...

    An important caveat - the kids didn't hack electronic voting machines themselves (which certainly have their own flaws, but weren't the target here), but the type of results pages you often see on Secretary of State websites.

    The kids were given rudimentary instruction in performing SQL injection attacks: one of the web attacks that refuses to die.

    The organizers are still analyzing the results of the project, but they said that they invited the kids to tamper with vote tallies, candidate names, and party names.

    Rather than focus on the somewhat clickbaity aspect of "even an 11 year old can do it", I think the more newsworthy element is that official government websites like this are still prone to one of the oldest, most well-known, and easiest-to-mitigate exploits out there. And even if this wouldn't allow changing official vote totals, it could change the reported vote totals that many in the public see, causing uncertainty or panic and undermining confidence in the electoral system.

    7 votes
    1. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      There's any of this left? The electoral system is archaic and should be dismantled in an increasingly global world.

      undermining confidence in the electoral system.

      There's any of this left? The electoral system is archaic and should be dismantled in an increasingly global world.

      2 votes
  2. Rocket_Man
    Link
    I don't like the feel of this. It seems somewhat engineered just to create this particular headline. The article states kids were specifically invited to 'test' the voting setup. Which IMO...

    I don't like the feel of this. It seems somewhat engineered just to create this particular headline. The article states kids were specifically invited to 'test' the voting setup. Which IMO indicates they wanted to try and prove or demonstrate voting systems to be extremely vulnerable. Although I don't like this because you don't know the kids, what they know, or how much help they get. But you still end up with a headline stating an eleven year old is able to hack U.S. Voting Systems. Which probably does misrepresent the state of things.

    The response by DefCon as pointed out by harrygibus is also pretty underwhelming. It doesn't do much to address the claim that the environments are realistic. They simply say they tried to make it realistic by inviting state officials and incorporating some aspects from Ohio and Cook county. Which is nice and all, I'm glad they tried to make it realistic. But that doesn't go any further in supporting the idea that it actually is representative of any of these system.

    4 votes