National: Voatz of no confidence: MIT boffins eviscerate US election app, claim fiends could exploit flaws to derail democracy | Thomas Claburn/The Register

Only a week after the mobile app meltdown in Iowa’s Democratic Caucus, computer scientists at MIT have revealed their analysis of the Voatz app used in West Virginia’s 2018 midterm election. They claim the Android app is vulnerable to attacks that could undermine election integrity in the US state. Based on their findings, published today in a paper [PDF] titled, “The Ballot is Busted Before the Blockchain: A Security Analysis of Voatz, the First Internet Voting Application Used in U.S. Federal Elections,” researchers Michael Specter, James Koppel, and Daniel Weitzner conclude that internet voting has yet to meet the security requirements of safe election systems. “We find that Voatz has vulnerabilities that allow different kinds of adversaries to alter, stop, or expose a user’s vote, including a side-channel attack in which a completely passive network adversary can potentially recover a user’s secret ballot,” their paper states. “We additionally find that Voatz has a number of privacy issues stemming from their use of third-party services for crucial app functionality.” Specifically, the researchers discovered that malware or some miscreant with root access to a voter’s mobile device can bypass the host protection provided by mobile security software known as the Zimperium SDK.

Full Article: Voatz of no confidence: MIT boffins eviscerate US election app, claim fiends could exploit flaws to derail democracy • The Register.

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