MIT delivers dire warning: Web voting app can be hacked!

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A web voting app that already has been tested in several states can be hacked, according to a new warning from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

AP reports that the analysis focused on the Voatz app, which already has been used in pilots in Denver, Oregon, Utah and Virginia.

It’s been used mostly, so far, for absentee voters and overseas military personnel.

But the researchers found “attackers could ‘alter, stop or expose how an individual has voted.'”

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“We all have an interest in increasing access to the ballot, but in order to maintain trust in our elections system, we must assure that voting systems meet the high technical and operation security standards before they are put in the field,” Daniel Weitzner told AP.

He’s one of the MIT authors of the report.

The changes could be made without being detected, the report said.

Voatz, which is based in Boston, didn’t allow transparent third-party testing, so the researchers said they simply reverse-engineered it.

The company challenged the conclusions, with a statement that said the version studied was an old one.

They accused researchers of acting in “bad faith,” AP said.

AP commented, “The report casts a harsh light on the looming proposition of online voting. In 2018, Alaska explored using an online voting system but shuttered the program because of security concerns.”

The report noted there were those who were completely unsurprised.

“Not to in any way diminish this (excellent) work, but the fact that an online mobile voting scheme has serious security flaws is ultimately unsurprising,” Matt Blaze, a professor of computer science and law at Georgetown University, said in the AP report. “Every serious expert has warned against Internet voting.”


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