Voter Fraud Could Be The Next Cyber Security Threat

REUTERS/Mark Makela

Taylor Beck Contributor
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The ballot box could be the next target for cyber terrorists looking to hack elections some experts are warning, according to Fox News.

A Commonwealth Security and Risk Management for Virginia Information Technologies Agency report detailed ballot box vulnerabilities, warning that since 2002, Virginia’s system has used “flimsy security,” making voting boxes vulnerable. (RELATED: Chinese Government Won’t Deny It Was Behind Cyberattack)

Hackers with only minimal experience could play a part in corrupting the outcomes of future elections. With the wide breadth of information available on the internet, learning to alter an election’s results isn’t far out of  reach for the average Joe.

Experts argue that the problems often fall into two categories. One of these problems is due to a lack of testing by manufacturers prior to installing the systems in the field. Oftentimes these companies are selling “off-the-shelf hardware,” meaning they’re more interested in turning a profit rather than providing a quality product. The second problem comes from local governments not having the resources to certify that these machines are properly safeguarded. Without the needed funds, these governments are forced to assume that the machines are secure enough to protect from cyber attacks. (RELATED: Investigations Underway, Suspected Voter Fraud In Virginia And Maryland)

Currently there are a variety of different options being discussed in order to prevent these attacks. The most cost and time effective option appears to be an “opti-scan ballot.” This machine counts votes on par with a computer scanner while also keeping the original paper ballots, so that electronic votes can be verified.