Brace for a stream of digital leaks and shenanigans by Election Day. Whether it’s newly disclosed Democratic Party emails or someone tampering with voting machines, this year’s presidential election could come with hacking intrigue like none before it. Consider messages stolen from the Democrats by suspected Russian-linked hackers and posted online in the summer by the self-described persona Guccifer 2.0. That trove led to so much outrage from fellow Democrats that the party’s chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was forced to resign. Beyond partisan embarrassment from those leaks, security risks to electronic voting machines have the potential to do even more damage. Compromised machines, producing faulty vote tallies, would raise questions about the very integrity of the political process.
“Election administrators are trained to run elections, not defend computer systems,” said Joe Hall, chief technologist for the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology. “The voting systems we use in many cases don’t keep the kind of evidence one would need to detect an attack, let alone recover from it, without disruption or loss of votes.”
… Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins cryptography expert, offered a simple solution to stave off ballot hacks: “There is only one way to protect the voting system from a nation-state-funded cyberattack,” he wrote on Twitter. “Use paper.”