Monday, October 10, 2016

Hacking Into Our Voting Systems

In 1993, Ron Gault and I met with the Federal Election Commission after our NSA-contracted team at TRW identified several very easy ways to hack into the then-emerging computerized voting systems. We warned the FEC about the possibility of election fraud and manipulation. Their response was interesting: (1) We don't regulate or certify voting systems; that's up to each state to manage; and (2) There are always errors in counting votes. We recognize there are inaccuracies but those inaccuracies are small compared to the total number of votes, and would therefore not impact the outcome.

Fast forward to the Gore/Bush runoff in Florida, where a few votes most definitely mattered. Fast forward again to today, and the sophistication of Russian hackers, as described in this Wall Street Journal article, "U.S. Intelligence Chief Suggests Russia Was Behind Election-Linked Hacks."

Our computerized voting systems are still an unregulated, unprotected hacker's dream. Their only saving grace is that they are, for the most part, only partially networked; thus the propagation of an attack is more difficult.

This is going to be a very interesting election.

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