[ExI] how hard was it to see this coming?

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Wed Sep 13 16:16:21 UTC 2017



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Stunning testimony: Voting machines can be hacked without a trace of



By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 12, 2017


The country's voting machines are susceptible to hacking, which could be
done in a way so that it leaves no fingerprints, making it impossible to
know whether the outcome was changed, computer experts told President
Trump's voter integrity commission Tuesday.


The testimony marked a departure for the commission, which was formed to
look into fraud and barriers to voting, but which heard that a potentially
greater threat to confidence in American elections is the chance for enemy
actors to meddle.


"There's no perfect security; there's only degrees of insecurity," said
Ronald Rivest, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He said hackers have myriad ways of attacking voting machines. "You don't
want to rest the election of the president on, 'Maybe the Wi-Fi was turned
on when it shouldn't have been.'"


He and two other computer security experts said bar codes on ballots and
smartphones in voting locations could give hackers a chance to rewrite
results in ways that couldn't be traceable, short of sampling of ballots or
hand recounts - and those work only in cases where there's a paper trail.


Andrew Appel, a professor at Princeton University, said it would be easy to
write a program that cheats on election results and deletes evidence of the
hack as soon as the results are reported.


The analysts didn't point to any specific election that they knew had been
compromised, but they said hackers likely would leave fingerprints only if
they wanted to be spotted and hurt confidence in the U.S. electoral system.


"To ignore the fact that the computers are completely hackable and to try to
run elections, as some states do, where they entirely rely on the word of a
computer program on who won is entirely irresponsible," Mr. Appel said.


The revelations stunned members of the Presidential Advisory Commission on
Election Integrity, which was in New Hampshire on Tuesday for its second

"I'm sufficiently shaken," said Ken Blackwell, a commissioner and former
secretary of state in Ohio.

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