aside Hackers At Las Vegas Convention Try To Penetrate Voting Machines

AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

I’ll be keeping track of this story. There is a hacking convention starting on Friday, July 28, 2017, which is being held in Las Vegas where the hackers will be demonstrating that US voting machines can indeed, be hacked.

I, for one, am becoming convinced that “we the people” need to demand the use of paper ballots for the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Here’s the rest of the story…

On July 28, 2017, Jim Finkle of  Reuters penned the following report, “Hackers scour voting machines for election bugs.”

Excerpts:

“Hackers attending this weekend’s Def Con hacking convention in Las Vegas were invited to break into voting machines and voter databases in a bid to uncover vulnerabilities that could be exploited to sway election results.”

“The 25-year-old conference’s first “hacker voting village” opened on Friday (7/28/17) as part of an effort to raise awareness about the threat of election results being altered through hacking.”

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“Hackers crammed into a crowded conference room for the rare opportunity to examine and attempt to hack some 30 pieces of election equipment, much of it purchased over eBay, including some voting machines and digital voter registries that are currently in use.”

“We encourage you to do stuff that if you did on election day they would probably arrest you,” said Johns Hopkins computer scientist Matt Blaze, who organized the segment in a conference room at the Caesar’s Palace convention center.”

“The exercise featured a “cyber range” simulator where blue teams were tasked with defending a mock local election system from red team hackers.”

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“Concerns about election hacking have surged since U.S. intelligence agencies claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic Party emails to help Republican Donald Trump win the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

 “A Department of Homeland Security official told Congress in June that Russian hackers had targeted 21 U.S. state election systems in the 2016 presidential race and a small number were breached, but there was no evidence that any votes had been manipulated.”

Image result for photos of defcon convention“Jake Braun, another organizer, said he believed the hacker voting village would convince participants that hacking could be used to sway an election.”

“There’s been a lot of claims that our election system is unhackable. That’s BS,” said Braun. “Only a fool or liar would try to claim that their database or machine was unhackable.”

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Caesar’s Palace

“Barbara Simons, president of advocacy group Verified Voting, said she expects Russia to try to influence the U.S. 2018 midterm election and 2020 elections. To counter such threats, she called for requiring use of paper ballots and mandatory auditing computers to count them.”

“More than 20,000 people were expected to attend the three-day Def Con convention.”

The hacker voting village was one of about a dozen interactive areas where participants could study and practice hacking.”

View image on Twitter

Greetings from the Defcon voting village where it took 1:40 for Carsten Schurmann to get remote access to this WinVote machine.

UPDATE: This update on July 30, 2017 is from a fellow blogger, Crustyolemothman.

On July 30, 2017, Andy Campbell of the Huffington Post penned the following report, ” “Hackers Crack Voting Machines Within Minutes At DEF CON In Vegas.”

Excerpts:

“We already knew U.S. voting systems had security flaws ― the federal government put that nail in the coffin when it repeatedly confirmed that Russian hackers breached systems in at least 21 states during the election last year.”

“But on Friday (7/29/17), hackers stateside showed us just how easily some of the electronic voting machines can be cracked.”

“Those who attended DEF CON, a 25-year-old hacking convention held in Las Vegas, were given physical and remote access to voting machines procured from eBay and government auctions.”

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

The “security” of these WINvote machines is so bad. Running WinXP, autorun enabled and hard-coded WEP wifi password.

“Within about 90 minutes, they’d exploited weak and outdated security measures to gain full access, The Register first reported. Some physically broke down the machines to reveal their vulnerabilities, while others gained remote access or showed that external ports found on some could be used to upload malicious software.”

“Without question, our voting systems are weak and susceptible. Thanks to the contributions of the hacker community today, we’ve uncovered even more about exactly how,” Jake Braun, who reportedly came up with the idea for the challenge, told The Register.”

“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 principles of democracy and threatening our national security.”

Image result for photos of defcon convention “Detection is a far cry from interception.”

“In June (2017), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official again confirmed that Russian hackers were not only “attempting” to gain access to voting systems, they succeeded in at least 21 states and stole undisclosed information. The FBI detected the tampering last year ― though no evidence of changing vote numbers has been found ― but the Obama administration delayed reporting the breaches until Oct. 7, (2016) according to the Los Angeles Times.”

5 comments

  1. Since tampering with ballot boxes has a long history, it would only be logical to assume there would be a cyber version.
    The advantage of the old ‘clerical’ system is that to tamper, somewhere along the line someone has to get up close and personal, which in turn raises their profile, thus visibility is not just available only to a person astute in the ways of computers.
    In this case it would be wise to ‘shore up’ this part of the USA’s borders.

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