Campaigning for the 2012 presidential race has already begun, but what the candidates don’t know is that come election day, hackers could be the ones whose votes have the biggest impact.
Researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have developed a hack that, for about $26 and an 8th-grade science education, can remotely manipulate the electronic voting machines used by millions of voters all across the U.S.
The researchers, Salon reported, performed their proof-of-concept hack on a Diebold Accuvote TS electronic voting machine, a type of touchscreen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system that is widely used for government elections.
(Diebold’s voting-machine business is now owned by the Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, whose e-voting machines are used in about 22 states.)
In a video, Roger Johnston and Jon Warner from Argonne National Laboratory’s Vulnerability Assessment Team demonstrate three different ways an attacker could tamper with, and remotely take full control, of the e-voting machine simply by attaching what they call a piece of “alien electronics” into the machine’s circuit board.