Researchers hack e-voting machine, similar to 2012 Election Day machines

researchers hack e voting machine similar to 2012 election day machines voteVoting machines that could be used by up to a quarter of the US electorate on Election Day next year can be hacked, says a group of computer science and security experts at the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. In fact, they’re not only saying it. They’ve done it.

A Salon report says that the hack can be performed “with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education.” Even more alarming, it’s believed that the hack, which could alter voting results, can be carried out without any trace of tampering having occurred.

The leader of the assessment team, Roger Johnston, said they believed such attacks were possible on a number of e-voting machines.

The hack was performed by the team on a Diebold voting machine, though two years ago the same group also managed a similar hack on a Sequoia e-voting machine.

The hack is performed by inserting a cheap electronic device into the e-voting machine. The device allows the machine to be controlled via a remote control unit at a distance of up to half a mile. The device could be put inside machines while they’re in storage prior to an election.

When the voter makes their selection and presses the Vote Now button, the person with the remote control can intercept and change the vote.

A member of the assessment team, John Warner, explained how carrying out the hack costs next to nothing. “The cost of the attack…..was $10.50 in retail quantities. If you want to use the RF [radio frequency] remote control to stop and start the attacks, that’s another $15. So the total cost would be $26.”

Despite the concerns raised by the team, touch-screen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines, or something similar, are scheduled to be used on Election Day in the US next year .

Sean Flaherty, a policy analyst for VerifiedVoting.org, a nonpartisan e-voting watchdog group, said that nearly all voters in states such as Georgia, Maryland, Utah and Nevada, as well as the majority of voters in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas, will vote using DREs on November 6, 2012. Voters in cities such as Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Pittsburgh will also use them.

Johnston, the leader of the assessment team, told Salon: “The machines themselves need to be designed better, with the idea that people may be trying to get into them. If you’re just thinking about the fact that someone can try to get in, you can design the seals better, for example.”

He added: “This is a national security issue. It should really be handled by the Department of Homeland Security.”

[Image courtesy of fantazista / Shutterstock]

Smart Home

LG is rolling out the barrels at CES 2019 with a craft beer machine

Looking to get into the beer making game? With the help of LG, you can become a brewmaster at home. The electronics maker is rolling out the LG HomeBrew, an at-home beer making machine at CES 2019.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Computing

Why limit yourself to one OS? Try one of these great virtual machine apps

Buying a new computer just because you want to utilize another operating system isn't necessary. Just use the best virtual machine applications to emulate one OS inside another, no matter what your platform or budget is.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.