A Twitter video shows how voting machines used in 18 states can be hacked in 2 mins

2 min read

At the 26th Annual DEFCON Conference in Vegas last week, attendees were reminded of US election infrastructure being susceptible to ulterior motives, by an alarming video posted on Twitter.

Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security demonstrated on her Twitter status about the voting machines hacked in under two minutes. SocialProof Security provides assessments for social engineering based security. Social engineering involves tricking people into giving up information that lets hackers bypass physical and computer security systems. It’s most commonly done with a simple phone call, talking to a tech support agent into resetting a password or getting information about a company’s network by asking an unwary staffer few leading questions.

Tobac explained that accessing the voting machine’s admin function is synonymous toopening the hood of a car with a release button, unplugging the card reader, picking a lock and turning on a machine with a ballpoint pen.

The model of voting machine used was the Premier AccuVote TS or TSX which is used in more than 18 states for elections.

Jack Braun, organizer of the Voting Village commented to the Wall Street Journal, “This is not the cyber mature industry.

While the National Association of Secretaries of State, one of the biggest providers of election supplies in the US, issued a statement discrediting the hackers: “Our main concern with the approach taken by DEFCON is that it uses a pseudo environment which in no way replicates state election systems, networks, or physical security,” it said.

Providing conference attendees with unlimited physical access to voting machines,” NASS said, “does not replicate accurate physical and cyber protections established by state and local governments before and on Election Day.

This is the second year in a row where DEFCON have hacked election systems with the Voting Village. Other experiments included an 11 year girl old hacking a replica of Florida secretary of state website and changing the results in 10 minutes.

There were suggestions to use blockchain based voting systems to maintain the integrity of elections. Regardless of its implementation this is an area of concern and should be addressed to alleviate tampering of future elections.

Read Next:

7 Black Hat USA 2018 conference cybersecurity training highlights: Hardware attacks, IO campaigns, Threat Hunting, Fuzzing, and more

DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0: How hackers used social engineering to manipulate the 2016 U.S. elections

Twitter allegedly deleted 70 million fake accounts in an attempt to curb fake news

Also published on Medium.

Being a Senior Content Marketing Editor at Packt Publishing, I handle vast array of content in the tech space ranging from Data science, Web development, Programming, Cloud & Networking, IoT, Security and Game development. With prior experience and understanding of Marketing I aspire to grow leaps and bounds in the Content & Digital Marketing field. On the personal front I am an ambivert and love to read inspiring articles and books on life and in general.


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