We have spent nearly two years discussing the consequential 2018 mid-terms, and the implications as to who holds the majority in Congress. A “Blue Wave” has been predicted, Democrats are more energized than they’ve been in a generation. On the other hand, Trumplicans are voting to save the presidency from the hated enemy – Democrats. The stakes for the future of this nation couldn’t be higher. We know that the Russians are deeply involved already.
And yet, over the weekend, at a conference called DefCon 26, an 11 year old boy hacked into a replica of a Florida state election computer, and changed votes …in ten minutes.
10 minutes! 11 years old. What is the Russian army capable of? One might speculate that they could even change the voting pattern across three separate states to give a presidential candidate just the right 77,000 votes needed to become president.
The competition pitted 39 kids, age 6 to 17, against one another to see who could hack into replica election systems of six swing states across the US. Thirty-five of the 39 kids completed the “exploit” and “tampered with vote tallies, party names, [and] candidate names” within 30 minutes, according to DEF CON.
And it isn’t like it took a savant. The kid used a technique that even I could follow and I don’t know one hell of a lot about computers.
DEF CON participants discovered that voting systems running on expired SSL certificates, encryption keys that are intended to create secure connections, were the most vulnerable and easily hackable. DEF CON said this proved the “malleability of these systems.”
The participants also discovered more vulnerabilities in the system where citizens directly cast their votes. The kids were able to wipe the memory cards from a recreation of state voting machine interfaces (within five seconds) and either replace a voter’s ballot altogether or overload the system with fake voters to render a real voter’s ballot useless.
At this point, whether the Russians hack into voting sites or not – and they should, everyone is expecting them to, and they have every reason to want to keep the House in all-too-compliant hands – the purpose is largely served.
With the exception of landslide victories, the loser can credibly claim – including Republicans – that the election was hacked. Keep in mind, Roy Moore never conceded his election, he contested it and contested it until we just didn’t listen anymore and Doug Jones was sworn into office. What do you think the average Republican will do if he or she loses a close election? Remember, this is the party that simply chose to not hold hearings on a SCOTUS judge, basically telling everyone to F-Off, they’d do it because they could. How will the average Republican close loser respond (assuming there are any).
I say assume, because I look at the Ohio 12th district special election held just last week. In a Trump +11 district, the Republican won by less than 1%, that portends well for the Dems come this November. It portends well unless across a peculiar spectrum of close races, Republicans seem to always be the ones that win by a nose. If that happens, I’ll be holding my nose, because at this point, with all the evidence in, I would have to have Russian influence officially disproved.
RESOLVED; AS PART OF THE NEXT DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM
Paper ballots, nation-wide. Mail-in if preferred or go to the precinct. Let an 11 year old attempt to hack that. It is the only way to restore faith in democracy, and we need faith badly. For all our technology, it is time to get old school.
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