Michigan: Experts: Modem use makes Michigan elections vulnerable | Detroit Free Press

With the Nov. 6 election less than 30 days away, Michigan officials tout the fact that the state’s election machines are not connected to the Internet — eliminating a major hacking risk. But does that fact alone make Michigan’s election machines impervious to hacking? Many researchers and election integrity activists say no. They say Michigan could be vulnerable as one of at least four states — along with Florida, Illinois, and Wisconsin — that use cellular modems to transmit unofficial election results. In an Oct. 2 letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, 30 academics, security experts and election integrity activists — including a computer science professor at the University of Michigan — expressed “grave concerns” about the devices.

They said use of the modems makes election results vulnerable to tampering and could result in malware infecting election machines. They asked the federal government to warn states and local agencies against their use. “In short, they can wreak havoc on an election,” the letter said.

… [T]he letter, signed by academics including Alex Halderman, director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Science and Security, and groups including Common Cause and the National Election Defense Coalition, says modern cellular modems “in fact, are part of the Internet.”

Cellular networks have “known vulnerabilities that are subject to exploitation,” the letter said. A cellular device “can be fooled into connecting to false mobile cell towers (such as Stingray surveillance devices) to cause a server disruption, and if there is improper authentication of a connection

Full Article: Experts: Modem use makes Michigan elections vulnerable.

Leave a Reply