Bianca Lewis, 11, has many hobbies. She likes Barbie, video games, fencing, singing… and hacking the infrastructure behind the world’s most powerful democracy. “I’m going to try and change the votes for Donald Trump,” she tells me. “I’m going to try to give him less votes. Maybe even delete him off of the whole thing.” Fortunately for the President, Bianca is attacking a replica website, not the real deal. She’s taking part in a competition organised by R00tz Asylum, a non-profit organisation that promotes “hacking for good”. Its aim is to send out a dire warning: the voting systems that will be used across America for the mid-term vote in November are, in many cases, so insecure a young child can learn to hack them with just a few minute’s coaching.
“These are the websites that are very important because they report the election results to the public,” explained Nico Sell, the founder of R00tz Asylum. “They also tell the public where to go to vote. You could imagine if either of these two things were changed, the chaos that would ensue.”
Hacking the real websites would be illegal. So instead, Ms Sell’s team created 13 sites that mimicked the real websites, gaping vulnerabilities and all, for 13 so-called “battleground” states – parts of the country where the vote is expected to be tight.
Over the course of a day, 39 kids aged between 8 and 17 took the challenge – 35 of them succeeded in bypassing the trivial security. Pranks ensued. At one time the site told us 12 billion votes had been cast. Later, we were told that candidate “Bob Da Builder” was the victor.
Full Article: Hacking the US mid-terms? It’s child’s play – BBC News.