What happens when you give a bunch of computer hackers access to electronic voting machines and three days to pick them apart? Last week, at the infamous hacking convention DEF CON in Las Vegas, we found out.
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On today's episode of The Outline World Dispatch, I spoke to Jake Braun, a former White House liaison to the Department of Homeland Security and a cybersecurity lecturer at the University of Chicago. He helped organize the Voting Machine Hacking Village at the con.
Although these attacks required physical access to the machines, it was obvious that resistance to electronic tampering was not a consideration for their manufacturers.
Three quarters of registered voters now live in districts that only use voting machines that contain computers, according to the Pew Research Center.
Braun is worried about the security of our elections, and the influence foreign powers like Russia, Iran, and North Korea could wield by exploiting weaknesses in our voting systems. Russian intelligent agents hacked into at least one voting machine manufacturer prior to the election, according to a leaked NSA report.
“You’re only paranoid if they’re not trying to kill you," he said. “We now know that they’re trying to kill, or at least take over, our democracy.”