Congratulations this evening are due to the folks at University of Michigan’s computer science department. Encouraged by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics last week to identify vulnerabilities in a new electronic voting platform, a U-M team, headed by Professor J. Alex Halderman, was not only able to penetrate the system, but to have it play Hail to the Victors each time a vote was cast. According to press reports, the non-profit political advocacy group Common Cause, as well as numerous computer scientists, had warned of security risks inherent in the system, the construction of which was funded by the federal government, but their concerns were dismissed by officials… To the credit of the Board of Elections, however, they did eventually open their new system up to scrutiny of the U-M team and others in the hacking community. To my knowledge, that is something that hasn’t been done by the likes of Diebold, the Ohio-based maker of electronic voting terminals now used in over 30 states, probably for fear of the exact same thing happening…. Hail to the Victors.
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