The threat of a cyber attack against voting booths is a reality many in the U.S. government are preparing to combat on election day in November.
Over 40 states in America use electronic voting booths, some of which have not been upgraded in over 10 years. Cyber security experts at Symantec Security Response say these antiquated machines are ripe for exploitation. A principle researching at Symantec, Brian Varner, showed how inserting a simple device one can purchase online for a nominal amount of money completely resets the voting booth. He said, “I can insert it (the device), and it rests the card, and now I’m able to vote again. For $15 and in-depth knowledge, you could hack the vote.”
Government officials are preparing for the worst. The U.S. senate sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security warning them of these potential flaws in voting security. They wrote, “Election security is critical, and a cyber attack by foreign actors on our elections systems could compromise the integrity of our voting process.”
Only 60 percent of states regularly audit their election results, so if a sophisticated hacker were able to manipulate voting booths without triggering any red flags their actions would likely go undetected. If such a scenario were to transpire it would be devastating to American democracy as the will of the people will be stifled — and that cannot be allowed to happen.