Electronic Vulnerability

Top Six Ways Hackers Could (have) Disrupt(ed) an Election

The election system is particularly vulnerable because it involves a combination of state, local, and federal government agencies with their own systems, software, hardware, and security protocols. Often, government departments are running old “legacy” computer systems that are extremely vulnerable to malware and hacking; and even if they have new systems, these are often put into place without a comprehensive security audit and performance review.

Who exactly is in charge of securing these overlapping networks isn’t always clear in government either.

“Security online today, is not up to the task of online voting today.”

My friend, Duncan Buell, sent along a .pdf with a blog post of his, Computer Security and the Risks of Online Voting, along with another blog post about drones Meet A.I. Joe

The Power of Partnership: Do you know what your election officials have been watching?


Direct from the Dominion web, a marketing video featuring Denver election officials.services from Dominion.

We recommend caution for election officials, along with concern and skepticism for voters and taxpayers.

Aging Voting Machines Sitting Rusts for Hacking

Over the last few years, we have provided many posts on the real risks of Internet voting.  A new report and article highlighting that report, remind us all of the risks of voting machines in use several years ago: Hack the vote: Cyber experts say ballot machines easy targets

Reminder:  We are still using those machines.

Too Reliable Computers: A threat to life and to democracy!

Most people are aware of the risks of unreliable computers, yet tend to be oblivious to the distinct risk of too reliable computers.  If computers were as unreliable as people, we would not be at risk of excess trust and overconfidence.

One particular anecdote from lasts night’s Newshour highlights the risks of computers that are too reliable, yet not perfect.  When it comes to medicine (or robotic weapons) too reliable computers can cause harm, including death.  When it comes elections too reliable computers can kill democracy.

Elections and Voting Summit Joseph Kiniry: Technical Tradeoffs

Last January I attended the annual Elections and Voting Summit. I was most interested in a presentation by Joseph Kiniry on Technical Trade0ffs. It is a relatively brief presentation, with some important thoughts: Online voting convenience vs. risks, transparent systems vs. proprietary rights etc.

Internet Voting Roundup: At the Not-OK Corral

Texas likes to do things big. But when it comes to Internet voting it is as they say “All hat and no cattle”.

We always tend to side with science and the best independent expert analysis, and tend to be skeptical of vendors seeking profit and officials looking for the easy way to look good.

S.B. 1051: Too much, too little, too risky

Last week the Government Administration and Elections Committee passed a modified version of S.B. 1051, hailed by the Secretary of the State and ROVAC (Registrars Of Voters Association of Connecticut) as a ‘bipartisan’ compromise.

Yet, all the compromising seems to be the agreement of election officials on a bill that would make registrars jobs easier while adding largely undefined and unchecked powers for the current and future Secretaries of the State.

New South Wales wails: Researchers find flaws in Internet voting system

New South Wales, Australia is holding an election with a significant number of online votes. Researchers point out several concerns…

So you want to connect voting machines to the Internet?

60 Minutes Shows Threats to Autos and Voting Machines are Real

We need a system that does not rely on trusting the Government or the abilities of officials and pollworkers. Sometimes the risks sound crazy and too theoretical and unlikely. For several years it has been known that many vehicles can be taken over via the Internet – but not really understood at a gut level. Last week 60 Minutes demonstrated the risks to Lesley Stahl so she will never forget, and perhaps by watching her we will also understand.

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