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Hackers at convention test voting systems for bugs

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Def Con, some of the international’s biggest safety conventions, served as a laboratory for breaking into voting machines on Friday, extending its efforts to spot possible safety flaws in generation that can be used within the November U.S. elections.

FILE PHOTO: Hackers attempt to get admission to and change information from an digital ballot books in a Voting Machine Hacking Village right through the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., July 29, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

Hackers will proceed to probe the systems over the weekend in a bid to find new vulnerabilities, which may well be became over to voting gadget makers to mend.

The three-day Las Vegas-based “Voting Village” additionally aimed to reveal safety problems in virtual ballot books and memory-card readers.

“We see a lot of value in doing things like this. We think it’s important,” mentioned Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary of cybersecurity and communications at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in an interview.

FILE PHOTO: A person sorts right into a keyboard right through the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. July 29, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

“The idea is, when we find things here, how do we connect them with the actual vendors and make sure that we are closing this loop back to a coordinated vulnerability disclosure process.”

Def Con held its first voting village closing 12 months after U.S. intelligence companies concluded the Russian executive used hacking in its try to improve Donald Trump’s 2016 candidacy for president. Moscow has denied the allegations.

Organizers have returned forward of the November elections, by which Democrats hope to take keep an eye on of the U.S. House of Representatives. Trump’s nationwide safety group closing week warned that Russia had introduced “pervasive” efforts to intrude within the elections.

“These vulnerabilities that will be identified over the course of the next three days would, in an actual election, cause mass chaos,” mentioned Jake Braun, some of the village’s organizers. “They need to be identified and addressed, regardless of the environment in which they are found.”

Participants may have an opportunity to hack into greater than 5 sorts of voting machines from producers together with Elections Systems & Software and Dominion Voting.

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Last 12 months a Danish researcher discovered how one can take keep an eye on of a touchscreen voting machine used thru 2014 in a faraway hack that organizers mentioned may paintings from as much as 1,000 toes away.

A bunch representing U.S. secretaries of state lauded the function of bolstering election safety, however warned that the findings could be skewed.

“It utilizes a pseudo environment which in no way replicates state election systems, networks or physical security,” the National Association of Secretaries of State mentioned in a observation.

Verified Voting, an advocacy crew that helped prepare the hacking village, mentioned that one of the voting gadget fashions being examined are nonetheless used to tally votes around the United States.

One machine, the Dominion Premier/Diebold AccuVote TSx machine, is utilized in 20 states and 23,784 precincts, consistent with Verified Voting.

Reporting by means of Christopher Bing in Las Vegas; Editing by means of Jim Finkle and Richard Chang

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