Cybersecurity has been a big topic in the last few years, and with Election Day approaching, attention is turning to another potential target: electronic voting machines.
A new report by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology argues that elections are at risk because of what it says are outdated electronic voting machines: “Voting machines are neither secure or complex. In general, these stripped down computers utilising outdated operating systems possess virtually every conceivable vulnerability that a device can have.”
“By focusing on the machines in swing regions of swing states, an election can be hacked without drawing considerable notice,” claims the report, which was underwritten by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, a company that sells cybersecurity services.
The threat of hacks has become increasingly real: This summer alone both the DNC and the Clinton campaign were hacked. On Monday, the FBI warned about hacking of voter information in two states.
Electronic touch-screen voting machines started to become widespread in 2000 and 2004. In fact, as many as 43 states are using voting machines that are 10 years old and have outdated operating systems, according to the report.
Even an “upstart script kiddie could wreak havoc on a regional election,” the report says.
It’s worth noting that in the United States, voting is handled state by state, which means that there is no national organisation that completely regulates Election Day voting. Therefore it is left to the states to try to secure the voting process.
Many familiar with hacking and cybersecurity agree that it wouldn’t take a genius to hack into the voting machines and many improvements need to be made in order to ensure security on Election Day.
As a writer at the IT Business Edge pointed out, “We don’t want poor cybersecurity to dictate the election results…We have a little more than two months to figure it out.”
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