At convention, hackers easily infiltrate U.S. voting machines

U.S. voting machines were breached in just over an hour Friday, as hackers at at a conference in Las Vegas were instructed to hack and to break in to the machines meant to safeguard American voter information.

At the annual DEF CON event, hackers were given physical voting machines and remote access, then were tasked with breaching the software inside. They accomplished their task in under 90 minutes, according to new reporters in attendance at the event, suggesting grave security deficiencies in U.S. election framework.

According to The Register:

In less than 90 minutes, the first cracks in the systems’ defenses started appearing, revealing an embarrassing low level of security. Then one was hacked wirelessly.

An analysis of the machines revealed some were running outdated and exploitable software, while some had physical ports that could be used to install malicious software, or to tamper with votes. In essence, the hackers were not breaking through state-of-the-art voting machines. However, these low grade machines are commonly used in U.S. cities during elections.

Jake Braun, the Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Global Advisors and Managing Director of Cambridge Global Capital, said the vulnerabilities are a threat to national security, and that countries such as Russia, North Korea and Iran are capable of hacking the systems too.

Russian President Vladamir Putin says his country wasn’t involved in hacking during the 2016 presidential election. He admitted that “patriotic” hackers in Russia may have participated in rogue attacks, however.

“Without question, our voting systems are weak and susceptible,” Braun said. “Thanks to the contributions of the hacker community today, we’ve uncovered even more about exactly how.”

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