If you thought 2016 was bad, just wait for the sequel. Russian election interference seeped into nearly every aspect of the political landscape two years ago, but many experts are wondering whether upcoming U.S. elections could be worse. “If we do nothing, if we let the mechanics of voting continue to deteriorate, then I am 100 percent sure that we are going to be attacked again in the fullness of time,” said J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan. “And it’s going to make 2016 look quaint by comparison.” … The actual nuts and bolts of how Americans vote are vulnerable for a number of reasons. Older computerized voting machines run older software, which makes them more exposed to potential vulnerabilities. In the case of many states that either use a completely digital or partially digital voting system, they’re ripe for hacking.
“I have in my office, sitting on my desk, a touchscreen computer voting machine of a type that’s still used in several states that my research group hacked ten years ago in order to make a silent vote-stealing attack,” Halderman said.
Such machines are still in use in some states and are “badly, badly vulnerable,” he said. “They can be attacked remotely by sophisticated attackers to make them lie about the election outcome.”