Elections and Hacking

Given that yesterday was Election Day I wanted to weave that into a post.  While free elections are one of the things that make this country great, actually providing safe and reliable ways to vote is very difficult.  There were the reports of voting machine malfunctions and even videos capturing it.

While these systems are not perfect and no system is, what’s even a more challenging problem is opening up voting via the Internet.   The District of Columbia recently ran a pilot program to allow this for overseas military voters.  Before they released it to voters though, they allowed security professionals to test it out for security holes.  Within 36 hours Alex Halderman describes how he and his team completely hacked the system so that they could change any person’s vote.

Working in the security business and knowing how many good hackers and exploits are out there, it gives me a little trepidation to have our voting systems eventually open to the Internet.  It will happen eventually and will require the security community to come together to constantly test and monitor these future voting solutions.

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