The U.S. presidential election is just weeks away, and concerns have been raised about the security of election data. There have already been isolated incidents of voter registration databases being hacked in Illinois and Arizona. According to the nonprofit group VerifiedVoting.org, which lobbies for voting systems, there are substantial vulnerabilities with voting machines used in the U.S., with many running on the Windows XP operating system, for which support was ended in early 2014. A spokesperson for the organization states that this makes them susceptible to malware and denial-of-service attacks that could leave voters unable to cast their votes. The state of Virginia has decertified huge numbers of voting machines due to the ease with which they can be hacked remotely by people with little expertise.
Even though there’s no evidence that any election has been tampered with through cybersecurity exploits, VerifiedVoting points out that the very fact that voting machines could be susceptible to rigging is a real problem in itself.
At present, just five states have a purely electronic voting system with no paper backup, and another 10 have mixed electronic and paper systems. In total, some three quarters of those eligible to vote in the election will do so on paper. VerifiedVoter states that the voting systems used in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which could be crucial to the election, do appear to be in good shape.
Full Article: New efforts to ensure election data is secure.