FBI Director Comey: Russia Can’t Hack U.S. Election System Because It’s So ‘Clunky’
America’s voting system is so scattered and bulky that cybercriminals would struggle to hack into the system and change the results –according to officials.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said he wasn’t too concerned about cyber-attacks on the voting system when addressing the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday.
“The beauty of the American voting system is that it is dispersed among the 50 states, and it is clunky as heck,’’ Comey said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “A lot of people have found that challenging over the years, but the beauty of that is it’s not exactly a swift part of the internet of things, and so it is hard for an actor to reach our voting process.’’
Comey argues that since the computing systems are decentralized and voting is done in such a localized manner, that it would be hard to infiltrate the technology and alter the official results.
Hackers may try to use cutting-edge technological capabilities, but could discover “it actually isn’t a fiber optic cable, it’s a woman named Sally, a guy named Joe [who] pull out the punch cards, and that’s hard to reach,” Comey explained to the audience. “There’s a lot of pain in that, but there’s a lot of beauty.”
These comments come at the same time U.S. officials are ramping up investigations into the cyber invasions of state election systems, after Yahoo reported that Arizona and Illinois‘ databases were compromised only a couple weeks ago. Intelligence and law enforcement officials will be informing Senate and House leaders about the investigation, CBS News reports.
Comey’s confidence seems somewhat brazen since not every state uses tangible paper for its voting mechanism. Georgia, for example, has a shoddy history of protecting voters’ personal information and is one of five states that employs electronic voting without paper records backing up the data. (RELATED: Hundreds Of Organizations Worldwide Fail At Cybersecurity)
If cyber intrusions do occur, it could be very difficult to detect.
There are so many hacks in recent days, ranging from the Democratic National Committee to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, that it is not implausible for voting systems in America to be a target come election day.
Comey, who heads the top-ranking law enforcement agency in the U.S., is casting doubt on the prospect of foreign hackers by asserting that such anachronistic technology is too primitive for advanced hackers.
In a report called, “Hacking The Elections Is Easy!”, James Scott with the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology outlines numerous ways voting infrastructures could be breached and exploited.
“This discussion only happens every four years, so after everybody calms down after the election, unfortunately, after the election is done and everybody is done counting, there will be abnormalities,” Scott told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “And somehow they always get swept under the rug.”
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