Since Direct Recording Electronic voting machines first came into vogue in the U.S. in 2002, a team of cyber-academics (known as the Princeton Group) has been busy demonstrating how easy it is to hack these machines, to remind American citizens just how cyber-vulnerable the voting process is. From their first successful hack into a DRE 15 years ago, they surmised that it was just a matter of time until a cyber-attack occurred in a national election. This summer’s cyberattack of the Democratic National Committee has shed light on how such events can potentially affect this, and future, elections. Given the apparent ease with which the attack occurred on the DNC, is there any real reason to believe the same cannot, or will not, occur in November?
… The Princeton Group’s message is simplistically clear: the latest generation of smart phones are more secure than DREs, and as a result, there are many critical areas in the vote gathering and counting process that are at risk. Although some voting district officials have commenced the process of becoming less reliant on DREs — replacing them with alternatives such as optical scanners — those DREs that remain are increasingly obsolete, with aging software and large cyber ‘holes’ that may be exploited. Hundreds of digital-only precincts remain, many in swing states, and they become less secure with each passing year.
… Some 28 states – including the swing states of Florida and Ohio – still use digital technology in their voting process, and most of these continue to use Windows software from the 1990s and early 2000s. While DREs are programmed individually, an attacker with access to the administration system that is used to program the memory cartridges before an election can distribute malicious code to all machines being used. Whether a DRE or optical scanner is being used, votes are tallied on a memory card, which is fed into a central system that can be used to infect the tabulating system, which can also be infected. Given how antiquated the entire voting system appears to be, and how many gaps there are in the system, governing authorities have a monumental task on their hands.
Full Article: A Cyber-Attack on a U.S. Election is Inevitable.