Voting more vulnerable than ATM’s – That’s not saying much

If voting machines are attacked, especially if it is switching votes, how would we know? At least with ATM’s there is money missing. Story from Hartford Courant today sounds technically similar to the recent demonstration of stealing votes by inserting hardware into a voting machine. Although the banking application often needs a camera and uses wireless communication – stuff not necessary in skimming votes. Sadly neither are really news, not technically challenging, it is simple to understand:

Thieves Make Withdrawals In Istanbul After Grabbing Debit Card Information in New England <read>

The customers — about 150, according to Webster — were victims of a “skimming” scheme in New England perpetrated by an international fraud ring. The thieves used an electronic device to read data off magnetic strips of debit cards inserted in some ATMs operated by Webster Bank and at least two other banks. A small camera recorded customers punching in their PINs…

Typically, the skimmers fit right over the slot where the card is inserted, looking very much like part of the ATM. The camera can be hidden in a brochure holder or concealed behind a mirror that looks like the security camera. The devices are readily available on the Internet, some for as little as a “few hundred dollars.

No reason to say “It can’t happen here”. But at least we have voter verified paper ballots to audit, recanvass, and recount!


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