MIT Warns That Voting App Used in Several States is Vulnerable for Hackers to ‘Alter, Stop or Expose’ Votes
An internet-based voting app that has been used on a limited basis in West Virginia, Denver, Oregon and Utah is vulnerable to hackers, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers.
The research indicates that Voatz, an app that has been mostly used for absentee voters and miitary personnel voting overseas, can be exploited to “alter, stop or expose how an individual has voted.”
Election security experts have long warned that internet-based voting is prone for hacking, but that hasn’t stopped states from attempting it.
“We all have an interest in increasing access to the ballot, but in order to maintain trust in our elections system, we must assure that voting systems meet the high technical and operation security standards before they are put in the field,” said Daniel Weitzner, an MIT scientist who helped to prepare the report, on Thursday.
Donald Kersey, a general counsel in the secretary of state’s office in West Virginia, explained that the state has to use electronic voting due to a new law that allows disabled people to vote online. He claims his state hasn’t committed to using the Voatz app.
“Obviously, integrity and security are prime, but voter confidence is equally important,” Kersey said.
Voatz disputes the MIT study, claiming that it was conducted in “bad faith,” and used an older, outdated form of their app that has since been improved. Nevertheless, the experts are crowing that this study backs what they have been saying about the dangers of electronic voting for many years.
“Not to in any way diminish this (excellent) work, but the fact that an online mobile voting scheme has serious security flaws is ultimately unsurprising,” tweeted Matt Blaze, a Georgetown University professor of computer science and law. “Every serious expert has warned against Internet voting.”
“In my view, based on MIT’s findings, no responsible jurisdiction should use Voatz in real elections any time soon,” wrote J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan professor. “It will take major advances in security technology before Internet voting is safe enough.”
This news comes after the Shadow voting app helped contribute to the turmoil that happened at the Iowa caucus last week:
The voting app, designed by Shadow Inc., that is responsible for tallying votes during the Iowa caucus has major establishment ties, particularly to South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has already declared himself the winner of the Iowa caucus despite the fact that no results have been released at this point.
Shadow is a tech project of ACRONYM. Free speech platform Gab noted that ACRONYM founder and CEO Tara McGowan is a huge Buttigieg supporter, as evidenced by her social media posts…
In addition, the leaders of Shadow all have extensive ties to the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign, according to their own social media profiles.
Shadow CEO Gerard Niemera lists himself as the former Director of Product for Hillary for America and Senior Product Manager during his 14 months of service to Clinton during her campaign. Shadow Product Manager Ahna Rao lists herself as a Clinton campaign worker for 19 months as Special Assistant to the Chief Technology Officer, and Shadow Chief Operating Officer James Hickey listed himself as Engineering Manager of Hillary for America for 18 months.
Technology is opening up new avenues for voter fraud that could conceivably have an impact on this year’s general election.