National: Air gapping voting machines isn’t enough, says election security expert Alex Halderman | Cyberscoop
The safeguards that election officials say protect voting machines from being hacked are not as effective as advertised, a leading election security expert says. U.S. elections, including national ones, are run by state and local offices. While that decentralization could serve an argument that elections are difficult to hack, University of Michigan Professor J. Alex Halderman says that it’s more like a double-edged sword. Speaking to an audience of students and faculty at the University of Maryland’s engineering school on Monday, Halderman said that the U.S. is unique in how elections are localized. States and counties choose the technology used to run federal elections. “Each state state running its own independent election system in many cases does provide a kind of defense. And that defense is that there is no single point nationally that you can try to attack or hack into in order to change the national results,” Halderman said. But since national elections often hinge on swing states like, Virginia, Ohio or Pennsylvania, attackers can look for vulnerabilities where they would count. “An adversary could probe the election systems in all the close states, look for the ones that have the biggest weaknesses and strike there, and thereby flip a few of those swing states,” Halderman said.