Somewhere, Putin is Smiling

“Trust me, comrades, why would I lie?”

Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) has an article that is sure to be ignored by Republicans who see vote rigging as a feature and not as a bug:

A malicious hacker could alter the outcome of a U.S. presidential election by taking advantage of numerous flaws in one model of vote-tabulating machine used in 26 states, cybersecurity experts warned in a report presented Thursday at the Capitol.

The report is the latest in a series of alerts by security researchers about weaknesses in U.S. voting infrastructure, amid continuing concern by lawmakers and intelligence officials about alleged Russian attempts to manipulate the upcoming midterm elections…

The report says an attacker could remotely gain access to the Model 650 tabulating machine manufactured by Election Systems and Software, one of the country’s largest sellers of voting equipment, by exploiting numerous vulnerabilities in the unit. Researchers also said this model has an unpatched vulnerability that the manufacturer was notified about a decade ago.

I’ve long maintained that the average hacker is smarter than the average politician (low bar, I know) which is why I was not that worried about individual voting machines being hacked: there are too many scattered all over the place. I figured that if I were a hacker, I’d go after the voter registration databases and remove people, you know like how Republicans remove the blahs.

This is slightly different: there is one fatally flawed tabulating machine (it seems) in each county, with the same known errors. I think even a junior-grade hacker should be able to figure this one out.

The event organizers said the Model 650 vote-tabulation vulnerabilities are especially problematic because states use the machines to processes ballots for entire counties. “[H]acking just one of these machines could enable an attacker to flip the Electoral College and determine the outcome of a presidential election,” the report says.

You don’t say?

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6 Responses to Somewhere, Putin is Smiling

  1. Infidel753 says:

    Republicans who see vote rigging as a feature and not as a bug

    Instead of arguing with the wingnuts, we need to get some top-notch liberal computer hackers working on this. After an election where socialist gay black atheist write-in candidates win every single Congressional district in Alabama, maybe the Republicans will admit there’s a problem.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tengrain says:

      Infidel –

      I like the cut of your jib.




      • MDavis says:

        I’m with Infidel on this one. Also, too. Except the ‘they’ we are talking about will admit there is a problem that is anything except what the actual problem is. Might get them nudged toward paper ballots, though, harder to hack, they are.
        Not butterfly ballots, though. Those are way to easy to spoil with one guy who knows where their candidate is on the ballot and has a hammer and a nail to ‘vote’ on dozens of ballots at once.


  2. As few as 170,000 votes in a handful of precincts in three states

    THAT was Trump’s actual margin of victory.

    Sure so far as we, the peasants people have been (grudgingly) told about it, the Russians were after voter rolls not changing actual votes.

    But these numbers are now down in the 0.13% of the votes, total, and in light of this Defcon report, I’m forced to ask myself ¿Por qué no los dos?

    Just gonna drop this here, then:


    • MDavis says:

      I found a clip some months ago where hacking of results was demonstrated to some precinct workers. They were so confident.
      The hacker sat outside the room and waited while the group voted. I think they voted 9 to 2 on a sample ballot. Then the results came back. 9 to 2 Against. They checked all the votes – they were 9 to 2 for. The results weren’t flipped, just set to count to a certain result.
      One of the precinct workers was inconsolable. I could not understand why she was even surprised, but apparently she had to rethink everything.


  3. 9thousandfeet says:

    Trump’s gonna love this!
    It’ll fit beautifully with his upcoming challenge to the validity of the mid term election results. Or do we think his accusations, at the UN assembly the other day, that the Chinese are “meddling” in the mid terms already was mere coincidence and not “a tell”?
    Getting K confirmed is key to getting scotus air cover for just such a challenge too, of course. Or are we to suppose that Mitch the Turtle, as canny an operator in the halls of Congress as exists anywhere, is willing to risk not just a shellacking in the House, but also possibly the majority in the Senate, just to install a regular run-of-the-mill rightwing Justice with all that fucking baggage?
    Kavanaugh is a special case. Basically a teaparty goddam whacko on the highest court in the land.
    That’s worth a lot of political blowback any way you do the math.


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