Hackers could have easily infiltrated US voting machines in 2016 and are likely to try again in light of vulnerabilities in electronic polling systems, a group of researchers said Tuesday. A report with detailed findings from a July hacker conference which demonstrated how voting machines could be manipulated concluded that numerous vulnerabilities exist, posing a national security threat. The researchers analyzed the results of the “voting village” hacking contest at the DefCon gathering of hackers in Las Vegas this year, which showed how ballot machines could be compromised within minutes. “These machines were pretty easy to hack,” said Jeff Moss, the DefCon founder who presented the report at the Atlantic Council in Washington. “The problem is not going away. It’s only going to accelerate.”
… Harri Hursti, a researcher with Nordic Innovation Labs and a co-author of the report, said it’s impossible to say with certainty if votes were tampered with in 2016 because many systems “don’t have the capacity” to be audited.
The report said five US states operate entirely on paperless systems which have no paper trail to be reviewed and another nine states are partially paperless.
“The only way to know is if the hacker tells you,” he said, adding that “it can be done without leaving tracks.”