Have you watched The Emoji Movie? Well, if your answer is no, you can go have a good watch, up until then, the hackers make their way through the US election voting machines.
Yes, it is true, cyber-crimes are on a steady rise and is hitting hard over the election ballots in countries around the world. Moreover, if the password of a voting machine is set to ‘abcde’ and cannot be changed, less than 90 minutes is needed by a hacker to break through the security defences.
The CEO of Cambridge Global Advisors, Jake Braun, who devised the hacking competition, worries over the global issues America will be facing with the hacking vulnerabilities increasing day-by-day. “Without question, our voting systems are weak and susceptible. Thanks to the contributions of the hacker community, we’ve uncovered even more about exactly how. The scary thing is we also know that our foreign adversaries – including Russia, North Korea, Iran – possess the capabilities to hack them too, in the process undermining principles of democracy and threatening our national security.”
The DefCon hacking summit, that took place in Las Vegas just a few days back, cracked the speed with which the hacking community broke into the security of the digital ballot boxes used in US elections.
30 different voting machines were purchased from the US government auction and e-Bay, whereby most of them were running-out-of-date with insecure software, while others showed hardware weaknesses, so the devices could be easily tampered with.
The ballot machines displayed unpatched versions of Windows XP, OpenSSL, and CE.
In the underground hacking Conference that lasted for 4 days, some smart hackers outsmarted others by simply browsing over Google as a hint to the passwords to gain administrative access.
Whereas, some ethical hackers unlocked the devices easily using the ‘Ctrl-Alt-Delete’ key combo, which is generally used to interrupt a function in the computer.
Some hackers burst into the system on grounds of a weak Wi-Fi connection. This was a major drawback in the WinVote machine that was being used in local county elections till 2015 in Virginia. Discontinued in 2007, the machine also used a weak password, viz., abcde.
The researchers experienced that it is as easy to change votes in the machine as it is to update an Office document.
Although this revelation follows fear of the involvement of Russian hackers in the Presidential elections of U.S., yet with more than 3000 administrative subdivisions housing different voting machines in the U.S., this could be near to impossible.
Now the U.S. government has to surely watch out before the hackers proceed onto something more grievous leading to national unrest among the citizens.