The Election Commission of India announced the dates for Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana last week. Along with the dates, the poll regulating authority in India announced that VVPAT-enabled electronic voting machines will be used during these polls. Additionally, the country is looking at an eventful General Elections in 2019. Now, with barely a month left before states go to elections, scientists at the University of Michigan claim to have found a way to ‘hack’ Indian EVMs. A video posted online showed the scientists at the US university supposedly manipulating voting results on an electronic voting machine (EVM) via mobile text messages after attaching a home-made device to the machine, a BBC News report said.
“We made an imitation display board that looks almost exactly like the real display in the machines. But underneath some of the components of the board, we hide a microprocessor and a Bluetooth radio,” Professor J Alex Halderman, who led this project to hack EVMs, told BBC.
The imitation display board intercepts the vote totals that the machine is supposed to show, and replaces them with fabricated results, “basically whatever the bad guy wants to show up at the end of the election”, Halderman said.
Over these additions, the University of Michigan researchers added a microprocessor to the EVM, which they claim can alter the results between voting and counting of votes, the BBC report added.