Published on October 20th, 2016 | by Admin

How a $15 device can impact the U.S. presidential election: Symantec

With the final US presidential debate kicking off shortly, election security continues to be a trending topic and growing concern, as the world eagerly awaits the impending result.

In light of this, Symantec conducted research on the vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines and in a blog post published today, outlining how hackers could potentially impact the presidential election.

Four key threats that were discovered include:

  • Stuffing the digital ballot box: Voters entering polling stations that use electronic voting machines are handed a chip card that gets loaded with their voter ID. Anyone who knows how to reprogram a chip card and purchases a $15 device can reset the card and vote multiple times.
  • Encryption absent: The lack of full-disk encryption on the voting machine that Symantec examined makes it easily exploitable, requiring only a simple device to reprogram the hard drive.
  • Tampering with tabulation: On a voting machine, votes are collected in a simple storage cartridge, and physically transferred to a central database for tabulation. A number of attacks could compromise the integrity of voting data, including the manipulation of cartridges and voting databases.
  • Spreading distrust through misinformation: It’s plausible for hackers to hijack means of communication and spread false election results on YouTube, broadcast media, social media and other channels. If this occurred, they could potentially influence voters to gravitate toward the poll leader – or not cast a ballot if the election looks like a landslide victory.

For further information and details on the research, please refer to the Response blog.

About the Author'

Back to Top ↑