Side Note

How to hack a voting machine in two minutes

Ballpoint pen not included.

Voting machines are far from impenetrable. There’s remote access loopholes, general corporate malfeasance, and democracy-shattering bad design, for starters. And then there are hacks like this.

In a video posted to Twitter, Rachel Tobac, CEO of white hat hacker group SocialProof Security, showed just how easy it was to obtain admin access to one of the most popular electronic voting machines in the U.S. The hack takes about two minutes and requires no specialized equipment (save a ballpoint pen) to obtain administrative access.

The machine used by Tobac is the Premier Election System’s BallotStation 4.7, a close cousin to the Diebold AccuVote TS, one of the most popular and vulnerable electronic machines used to record vote tallies. Though Diebold changed its name to Premier back in 2007 for “strategic” reasons, it apparently decided to hold on to its extremely vulnerable equipment.

Despite multiple warnings from top intelligence officials, the Trump administration has taken little to no action to ensure election security in the upcoming midterms.