Can we please have paper ballots nationwide?
Last week at DEFCON 26 in Las Vegas, eleven-year-old Emmett Brewer hacked into a replica of Florida's state election site and changed the voting results. That's scary enough. What's even scarier is that it took him less than ten minutes. An eleven-year-old girl was able to hack into the same site in about fifteen minutes. And more than THIRTY kids were able to hack into replicas of other states' sites in less than half an hour.
That is straight up alarming and you'd think the folks in charge of our state and federal elections would be concerned about this and want to take immediate action. That would be the normal reaction. But we're a long way from normal.
In a statement regarding the event, the National Association of Secretaries of State said it is “ready to work with civic-minded members of the DEFCON community wanting to become part of a proactive team effort to secure our elections.” But the organization expressed skepticism over the hackers’ abilities to access the actual state websites.
“It would be extremely difficult to replicate these systems since many states utilize unique networks and custom-built databases with new and updated security protocols,” it read. “While it is undeniable websites are vulnerable to hackers, election night reporting websites are only used to publish preliminary, unofficial results for the public and the media. The sites are not connected to vote counting equipment and could never change actual election results.”’
I'm sure we'll be fine, though. Congress is hard at work to protect the sanctity of our elections to ensure we don't have a repeat of 2016.
Oh, wait. No, they're not.
An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes [Michael D. Regan/PBS][Image: Pixabay]