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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Why Your Vote Doesn't Matter

"Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
Those who count the votes decide everything."
I am not all that keen on voting anymore. I just don't see much of a point. You may say, "Ah, yes, the two parties are so close to the same thing, that there's not much choice, is there?"

That's not what I mean.

Electronic voting machines are not secure. At all.
So how would someone use these vulnerabilities to change an election?... Note that none of the above steps, with the possible exception of figuring out the WEP password, require any technical expertise.  In fact, they’re pretty much things that the average office worker does on a daily basis.... A high school student could perform undetectable tampering, perhaps without even leaving their bedroom. 
It isn't just that series of machines from the 2000's. There's this story from April, 2015.  
Touchscreen voting machines used in numerous elections between 2002 and 2014 used “abcde” and “admin” as passwords and could easily have been hacked from the parking lot outside the polling place, according to a state report.
or this story from 2012
If we practiced a lot, or even better, if we got someone really good with his hands who practiced a lot for two weeks, we're looking at 15 seconds to 60 seconds go execute these attacks.
As this story shows, as a voter, you can vote, sure, but you will never know who you voted for.  Why? Because as a programmer, I can adjust the voting machine's program so that my choice goes into the database while "your" choice is sent to the screen or printer. This kind of subterfuge is trivially easy. You will never know I stole your vote. 
So, we aren't voting for candidates anymore, and we haven't been voting for them for years. Whoever has the best hackers will win the election. The people lining up at the polls merely provide the necessary cover for each sides' hackers to do their work.
President Obama has quietly recruited top tech talent from the likes of Google and Facebook. Their mission: to reboot how government works.
That's why a story like the one above really says it all. How American government works - that has been rebooted.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Pretty scary Steve. More ammo that US is morphing to USSR.