Def Con, one of the world’s largest hacker conventions, will serve as a laboratory for breaking into voting machines this week, extending its efforts to identify potential security flaws in technology that may be used in the November U.S. elections. The three-day “Voting Village,” which opens in Las Vegas on Friday, also aims to expose vulnerabilities in devices such as digital poll books and memory-card readers. Def Con held its first voting village last year after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded the Russian government used hacking in its attempt to support Donald Trump’s 2016 candidacy for president. Moscow has denied the allegations.
Organizers have returned ahead of the November elections, in which Democrats hope to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Trump’s national security team last week warned that Russia had launched “pervasive” efforts to interfere in the elections.
“These vulnerabilities that will be identified over the course of the next three days would, in an actual election, cause mass chaos,” said Jake Braun, one of the village’s organizers. “They need to be identified and addressed, regardless of the environment in which they are found.”