October 22 - Election Preview
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A group of 30 researchers, activists and scientists signed a letter this month urging the federal government to issue an official warning to states that use voting machines with integrated wireless technology that the machines are vulnerable to hacking. The voting machine experts said they had “grave concerns” that such manipulation could “wreak havoc on an election.”
Sarah Revell, a spokeswoman for Florida’s Department of State, defended her state’s use of such machines, saying they “are not connected to the internet” and “that when transmitting election data everything is encrypted and authenticated.”
But Andrew W. Appel, a computer scientist at Princeton University, said a “modem talking through the cell phone network really is more connected to the internet than they like to think.”
He said hackers could use a portable cell tower, known as a Stingray, to intercept the wireless signals or use an internet-linked cellular network to introduce malicious code into the machines.
“If you can talk to that modem, and if there are any security flaws in the voting machine software that talk through that modem, then the voting machine could be confused into installing new software that changes the vote,” he said. (MCCLATCHY DC)