Tags: Voting Rights | virginia | voting | machines | security | passwords | hacking

Virginia Voting Machines Used Passwords 'ABCDE' and 'Admin'

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 05:33 PM

The voting machines recently decertified by the Virginia Board of Elections, which were used from 2002 to 2014, used passwords such as "abcde" and "admin," making them easy targets for hackers, according to a report.

The Virginia Board of Elections voted to discontinue using over 300 WINVote touchscreen voting machines on Tuesday by a unanimous vote, The Washington Post reports.

The decision came after the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VIA) and federally approved contractor Pro V&V found that the outdated machines crash easily and were vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Jeremy Epstein, a computer scientist from the research firm SRI International, writes in a blog post that "if an election was held using the AVS WinVote, and it wasn't hacked, it was only because no one tried."

He explained that "the vulnerabilities were so severe, and so trivial to exploit, that anyone with even a modicum of training could have succeeded.

"They didn’t need to be in the polling place — within a few hundred feet (e.g., in the parking lot) is easy, and within a half mile with a rudimentary antenna built using a Pringles can," Epstein said.

"Further, there are no logs or other records that would indicate if such a thing ever happened, so if an election was hacked any time in the past, we will never know," he added.

The Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Edgardo  Cortés said that the problematic machines create "an unacceptable risk to the integrity of the election process in the commonwealth."

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced in December that he was adding $28 million to his budget to pay for new "state-of-the-art" voting machines in time for the November, 2015 elections. 

Problems with voting machines malfunctioning surfaced in Virginia and other states during the 2014 midterm elections. The machines were reportedly changing votes.

The Post notes that Virginia is the only state that still used this particular machine.

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The voting machines recently decertified by the Virginia Board of Elections, which were used from 2002 to 2014, used passwords such as "abcde" and "admin," making them easy targets for hackers, according to a report.
virginia, voting, machines, security, passwords, hacking, elections
314
2015-33-15
Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 05:33 PM
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