National News

National: Voting machines and election systems – a quick look | Associated Press

August 3, 2017

Digital voting machines are in the spotlight in Venezuela, where the head of Smartmatic, a maker of election systems used in the country’s tumultuous constituent-assembly election, said Wednesday that the official turnout figure had been “tampered with .” The company’s CEO said the count was off by at least 1 million votes — possibly in either direction. Tibisay Lucena, head of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, dismissed that allegation as an “irresponsible declaration” that might lead to legal action.

National: DEFCON Hackers Found Many Holes in Voting Machines and Poll Systems | IEEE Spectrum

August 4, 2017

E-voting machines and voter registration systems used widely in the United States and other countries’ elections can readily be hacked—in some cases with less than two hours’ work. This conclusion emerged from a three-day-long hackathon at the Def Con security conference in Las Vegas last weekend. Some of those hacks could potentially leave no trace, undercutting the assurances of election officials and voting machine companies who claim that virtually unhackable election systems are in place.

National: States ramping up defenses against election hacks | The Hill

August 7, 2017

States across the nation are ramping up their digital defenses to prevent the hacking of election systems in 2018. The efforts come in the wake of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, which state officials say was a needed wake up call on cybersecurity threats to election systems and infrastructure. … Security experts are still divided over the extent of hacking risks to actual voting machines.

National: Voting Machine Hackers Have 5 Tips to Save the Next Election | WIRED

August 7, 2017

American Democracy depends on the sanctity of the vote. In the wake of the 2016 election, that inviolability is increasingly in question, but given that there are 66 weeks until midterm elections, and 14 weeks until local 2017 elections, there’s plenty of time to fix the poor state of voting technology, right? Wrong. To secure voting infrastructure in the US in time for even the next presidential election, government agencies must start now.

National: 15 States Use Easily Hackable Voting Machines | HuffPost

July 18, 2017

In 2006, Princeton computer science professor Edward Felten received an anonymous message offering him a Diebold AccuVote TS, one of the most widely used touch-screen voting machines at the time. Manufacturers like Diebold touted the touch-screens, known as direct-recording electronic (DRE) machines, as secure and more convenient than their paper-based predecessors. Computer experts were skeptical, since any computer can be vulnerable to viruses and malware, but it was hard to get ahold of a touch-screen voting machine to test it.

Editorials: Digital ballots, outdated machinery leave us exposed to a second Russian hack | Jason Smith/USA Today

July 21, 2017

The Russians aren’t coming. They came. And they launched a cyber strike on last fall’s elections for which the consequences remain an unknown. It’s a sexy, new Cold War replete with headlines featuring the president’s son and a curious meeting with Russians last summer. Sadly, what gets lost within these seductive media narratives are the comprehensive hazards of America’s voting components. It’s essential to note that there’s no confirmed proof any vote recording or ballot tallies were altered back in November.

National: Making U.S. Elections More Secure Wouldn’t Cost Much But No One Wants To Pay | NPR

June 28, 2017

What would it cost to protect the nation’s voting systems from attack? About $400 million would go a long way, say cybersecurity experts. It’s not a lot of money when it comes to national defense — the Pentagon spent more than that last year on military bands alone — but getting funds for election systems is always a struggle.

National: Were Voting Machines Actually Breached? DHS Would Rather Not Know | TPM

June 30, 2017

Pressure to examine voting machines used in the 2016 election grows daily as evidence builds that Russian hacking attacks were broader and deeper than previously known. And the Department of Homeland Security has a simple response: No. DHS officials from former secretary Jeh Johnson to acting Director of Cyber Division Samuel Liles may be adamant that machines were not affected, but the agency has not in fact opened up a single voting machine since November to check.

Editorials: Congress should require paper voter ballots, electronic cybersecurity | Bruce Fein/Washington Times

July 5, 2017

Something is rotten in the state of our electronic voting practices. They are recklessly wandering towards online voting despite their high vulnerable to hacking and manipulation by cyberspace clowns, partisans, enemies, or all three. Congress should invoke its power under Article I, section 4 of the Constitution to require in federal elections use of paper ballots or electronic voting machines that produce voter-verified paper ballots. Congress should encourage States to do likewise for state elections through a federal grant-in-aid program.

National: Intelligence Panel Learns How to Hack Air-Gapped Voting Systems | GovInfo Security

June 23, 2017

Hackers can breach air-gapped voting machines and vote tallying systems – those not connected to internet – in an attempt to alter ballots to sway the outcome of an election, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has learned.

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