National: Russia fears have election vendors feeling the heat | Politico

The furor over fake news and Russian bots is overshadowing another weak link in the security of U.S. elections — the computer equipment and software that do everything from store voters’ data to record the votes themselves. Now the voting vendor industry is receiving increased attention from Congress and facing the prospect of new regulations, after more than a decade of warnings from cybersecurity researchers and recent revelations about the extent of Russian intrusions in 2016. … In 2006, a team of security researchers published a report saying that touchscreen voting machines made by the notably litigious vendor Diebold were vulnerable to “extremely serious attacks.” The researchers were so afraid of being sued by Diebold — now a subsidiary of the voting technology behemoth Dominion — that they broke with longstanding practice and didn’t tell the company about their findings before publishing. The team was “afraid that [Diebold] would try to stop us from speaking publicly about the problems,” said J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan computer science professor who was one of the report’s authors.

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