Home / IT / Telecom / Tech/ Boy, 11, hacks into replica US vote website in minutes at convention

Boy, 11, hacks into replica US vote website in minutes at convention


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 16 August 2018 00:18

Facebook

Reuters: An 11-year-old boy managed to hack into a replica of Florida’s election results website in 10 minutes and change names and tallies during a hackers convention, organisers said, stoking concerns about security ahead of nationwide votes.

The boy was the quickest of 35 children, ages six to 17, who all eventually hacked into copies of the websites of six swing states during the three-day Def Con security convention over the weekend, the event said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The event was meant to test the strength of US election infrastructure and details of the vulnerabilities would be passed onto the states, it added.

The National Association of Secretaries of State – who are responsible for tallying votes – said it welcomed the convention’s efforts. But it said the actual systems used by states would have additional protections.

“It would be extremely difficult to replicate these systems since many states utilise unique networks and custom-built databases with new and updated security protocols,” the association said.

The hacking demonstration came as concerns swirl about election system vulnerabilities before mid-term state and federal elections.

US President Donald Trump’s national security team warned two weeks ago that Russia had launched “pervasive” efforts to interfere in the November polls.

Participants at the convention changed party names and added as many as 12 billion votes to candidates, the event said.

“Candidate names were changed to ‘Bob Da Builder’ and ‘Richard Nixon’s head’,” the convention tweeted.

The convention linked to what it said was the Twitter account of the winning boy – named there as Emmett Brewer from Austin, Texas.

A screenshot posted on the account showed he had managed to change the name of the winning candidate on the replica Florida website to his own and gave himself billions of votes.

The convention’s “Voting Village” also aimed to expose security issues in other systems such as digital poll books and memory-card readers. 


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Come, let us build!

Friday, 26 April 2019

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Best because Sri Lanka was united in what it did well: being at peace, on an extended sabbatical, pursuing the absence of conflict – even mindlessly – and enjoying the fruit of island life. Wor


Black Easter

Friday, 26 April 2019

To Sri Lankan Christians, Easter this year was a day of God where demons reigned. It can be considered an unfortunate day in which the country was plunged again into the uncivilised wretchedness that prevailed in the country during the violent confli


Explaining Sri Lanka’s new Emergency Regulations on ‘publication’

Friday, 26 April 2019

Sri Lanka’s President issued a new set of Emergency Regulations on 22 April. This note explains the contents of Emergency Regulation 15, which concerns the ‘control of publications’, and certain other regulations relevant to publication. There


A secular public space is essential for the safety and wellbeing of all

Friday, 26 April 2019

The heart is heavy and the pen is slow. The environment is thick with the shared sorrow of many. Pain and suffering caused by deaths of hundreds and maiming of more on Easter of 2019 will linger for the rest of our lives. But life must go on and we m


Columnists More