Whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who exposed the NSA’s illicit spying operation to the world in 2013, is now sounding the alarm about the hackability of digital voting machines.
Watch the voting machine used in US swing states get hacked to rig an election. @Jhalderm, @UMich, and @nytimes demonstrate why every voting district needs an auditable paper ballot. Voting machines are *known* to be insecure. https://t.co/juvU7K3Qdl pic.twitter.com/prsrOGK17z
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) July 27, 2019
Other experts have echoed Snowden’s concerns about digital voting machines as well, as there are many vulnerabilities in the nascent technology that can be exploited by various nefarious interests.
“The most vulnerable part of election infrastructure is the websites,” said Jake Braun, a former White House liaison on cybersecurity who set up an experiment showing that children could hack various state election pages with ease.
“It took an 11-year-old girl 10 minutes to do it, and she was the first one,” Braun added.
Braun also feels Snowden’s concerns about the digital voting machines are valid, particularly because much of the technology is engineered in countries with hostile foreign governments.
“The No 1 thing we found last year wasn’t a hack at all, it was the fact that we opened up the back of the machine, and of course, no surprise, all the parts are made across the world, especially China,” Braun said.
“This isn’t conjecture, this isn’t my dystopian fantasy world, this is something we know they do,” he added.
The potential for fraud is greater than ever, as more precincts become dependent on these machines to handle their voting operations on election day.
“Vulnerabilities on voting systems sometimes go unpatched for a long period of time and that’s the window of opportunity for an attacker to act and compromise them,” said Mounir Hahad, who leads the Juniper Threat Labs at Juniper Networks, to Fox News.
“If the goal is to delegitimize an election, a cyber threat actor can do this in four ways: change cast ballots, insert fake votes, eliminate legitimate votes or alter the tally of votes. If the goal is to just sow discord and confusion, they can also alter the systems used to report results, such as the secretary of state election results websites,” he added.
“Cybercriminals have already targeted the midterm elections successfully months and even years ago by causing disruption at the core of the United States of America,” said Joseph Carson, who works as chief security scientist at Thycotic.
“Creating a divide in the population and the continuous flow of propaganda into the U.S. citizens to make Americans fear their neighbors is right at the core of hacking of the elections. Rather than change the results of the voting systems, you control the mind of the voter,” Carson added.
There is only one way to assuredly prevent these potential problems with digital voting machines, and that is to use paper ballots. Snowden, who is currently being provided asylum by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is once again telling the truth to the public.
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