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Amaryllis

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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 9,429

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Computer science expert to Senate Intel: voting technology highly hackable, could upgrade by 2018

J. Alex Halderman: Our voting structure is vulnerable to sabotage, even to attacks that can change votes Computer science professor whose research focuses on computer security and privacy has (with colleagues) studied voting machines and tested and verified that they can be hacked by foreign actors. "The key lesson from 2016 is that these threats are real." What needs to happen: * Upgrade old voting machines to new ones that have optical character recognition to recognize votes made on paper ballots. * Use those paper backups to verify the ballot count is accurate. * Harden voting systems against sabotage by applying cybersecurity best practices. We can upgrade our election infrastructure by 2018.



https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4674512/j-alex-halderman-voting-structure-vulnerable-sabotage-even-attacks-can-change-votes

A computer science professor told the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday that voting machines that create an electronic record of the voters' decisions are open to fraud and computer hacking, vulnerabilities that are big enough to potentially change the outcome of some elections.

J. Alex Halderman, professor of computer science at Michigan University, said he and his team began studying "direct-recording electronic" (DRE) voting machines 10 years ago and found that "we could reprogram the machine to invisibly cause any candidate to win. We also created malicious software — vote-stealing code — that could spread from machine-to-machine like a computer virus, and silently change the election outcome."

Halderman's testimony comes as the committee is trying to assess the scope of Russia's attempts to not only spread disinformation in the 2016 elections, but also its efforts to hack into U.S. voting systems.

As a computer science professor, Halderman has not only run academic trials on hacking voting machines, he has also run real-time examples.

"The one instance when I was invited to hack a real voting system while people were watching was in Washington D.C in 2010, and in that instance it took less than 48 hours for us to change all the votes and we were not caught," Halderman said about the experiment.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/computer-expert-some-voting-machines-can-be-directly-hacked/article/2626633

At least he is saying it CAN be upgraded by 2018. At least the Russia hacks are bringing awareness to just how vulnerable our election technology is. Many have been trying to call attention for years...it is good that finally this is coming out in hearings.

It would, however, take the political will of those in power to do it.

Was T's talk of election rigging carefully calculated and not the ravings of a madman?

In light of the WaPo article, I started to think that perhaps what many attributed to a crazy man's rants was a carefully calculated strategy:

"They (Obama admin) also worried that any action they took would be perceived as political interference in an already volatile campaign. By August, Trump was predicting that the election would be rigged. Obama officials feared providing fuel to such claims, playing into Russia’s efforts to discredit the outcome and potentially contaminating the expected Clinton triumph."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/obama-putin-election-hacking/?hpid=hp_hp-banner-high_russiaobama-banner-7a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.9af394c55610

So if Trump and Assoc. were colluding with Russia...having T claim the election was rigged could have been a very effective strategy. Maybe his advisors were telling him to say that.. I don't see anything to indicate that T is a strategic thinker.
We already know that Kris Kobach of Interstate Crosscheck fame, who worked closely on his campaign, was preaching massive voter fraud which T believed. So he could have been just saying it because he believed it. Regardless, it played right into Putin's hands.

Latest Russian Hacking Bombshell: Damning Revelations About GOP, Trump (Rolling Stone)

It wasn't just Donald Trump who dismissed and rejected charges that Russian spies hacked the election last year. Now we know that pretty much the entire Republican party team did so, too – from the Republican congressional leadership down to GOP Secretaries of State in the states whose local electoral systems were under attack. They blithely served as Vladimir Putin's defense team, even as President Obama's national security aides were uncovering a vast Russian conspiracy to undermine America's electoral process.

snip

But, based on the reporting by the Post, it's safe to say that the Obama administration could have done a lot more – a lot more – to alert the public to Moscow's actions. That they didn't, out of timidity it appears – fearing that to do so would be too, well, political – will forever be a black mark on Obama's White House, the U.S. intelligence community and the FBI. (The FBI, you'll recall, started its inquiry into the Russian attack last July, but kept it secret until former FBI Director James Comey revealed it in March – however Comey didn't mind blabbing last July about the FBI's look-see into Hillary Clinton's email server. Even though that investigation had turned up nothing criminal or even especially noteworthy.)

It's a sordid tale, and presumably there's lots more to come. But the Post story goes a long way toward answering President Trump's June 22nd tweet asking: "If Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?" Now, we know why – or at least we know part of the story.

snip

But the Post article, in its second sentence, states that the administration's conclusion was based on "sourcing deep inside the Russian government." In other words, the United States last year had either human collectors (i.e., spies) or electronic access inside the very heart of Moscow's inner circle – which is how they learned that Putin himself was involved. The Post, it appears, knows more than it's letting on, saying: "The Washington Post is withholding some details of the intelligence at the request of the U.S. government." The Post adds, without more details, that some of the intel about Putin's personal role came via "another country."

More:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/russian-hacking-damning-revelations-about-gop-trump-obama-w489548

My former DEM SOS was once told by a Repub, "You Democrats just want to make it easy...

"You democrats just want to make it easy for everyone to vote." Which was true of this Secretary of State, who was very well-liked among Dems and who was a champion for voting rights, but clearly that was viewed as undesirable by this R who said that to him.

I post this because it speaks volumes about different world views.

Volulnteer veterinarians provide free health care for pets belonging to LA homeless (happy news)

LOS ANGELES (KABC) --
"I love my dog. I love my dog. He's my heart, my everything." Cherie Rucker is among the growing homeless population in Los Angeles, and her bulldog, ManMan, sticks right by her side.

The latest count shows nearly 58,000 homeless individuals in Los Angeles County alone, and experts estimate that around 20 percent have a pet. That's more than 10,000 dogs, cats and other animals.

But homeless pet owners typically can't afford to provide quality health care for their companion animals.

"A lot of them have never seen a veterinarian before, so for some pets it's the very first time seeing a vet. It's just a wonderful opportunity to provide services for those in need," one volunteer veterinarian said.

That's why the Frank Rice Access Center on Julian Street was turned into a veterinary clinic Wednesday.

"It's amazing to see. You know, a lot of these people would rather feed their dogs then feed themselves. And it's really sad but at the same time amazing. And I feel like half of these people are alive because of their animals," said another volunteer.

American Humane and VIP Pet Care sponsored the event that provided vital health care services to the pets of homeless people like Edward Irvine who came in with his three dogs Apollo, Cherry and Precious.

"They keep you calm, you have responsibilities, you know they're around, they know when you're feeling sad," said Irvine. "It's just wonderful support. You know they love me no matter what."

video at link

http://abc7.com/pets/pop-up-clinic-provides-vet-care-to-las-homeless-with-pets/2128855/?sf90947402=1

Computer science expert to Senate Intel: voting technology highly hackable , must upgrade by 2018

J. Alex Halderman: Our voting structure is vulnerable to sabotage, even to attacks that can change votes Computer science professor whose research focuses on computer security and privacy has (with colleagues) studied voting machines and tested and verified that they can be hacked by foreign actors. "The key lesson from 2016 is that these threats are real." What needs to happen: * Upgrade old voting machines to new ones that have optical character recognition to recognize votes made on paper ballots. * Use those paper backups to verify the ballot count is accurate. * Harden voting systems against sabotage by applying cybersecurity best practices. We can upgrade our election infrastructure by 2018.



https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4674512/j-alex-halderman-voting-structure-vulnerable-sabotage-even-attacks-can-change-votes

A computer science professor told the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday that voting machines that create an electronic record of the voters' decisions are open to fraud and computer hacking, vulnerabilities that are big enough to potentially change the outcome of some elections.

J. Alex Halderman, professor of computer science at Michigan University, said he and his team began studying "direct-recording electronic" (DRE) voting machines 10 years ago and found that "we could reprogram the machine to invisibly cause any candidate to win. We also created malicious software — vote-stealing code — that could spread from machine-to-machine like a computer virus, and silently change the election outcome."

Halderman's testimony comes as the committee is trying to assess the scope of Russia's attempts to not only spread disinformation in the 2016 elections, but also its efforts to hack into U.S. voting systems.

As a computer science professor, Halderman has not only run academic trials on hacking voting machines, he has also run real-time examples.

"The one instance when I was invited to hack a real voting system while people were watching was in Washington D.C in 2010, and in that instance it took less than 48 hours for us to change all the votes and we were not caught," Halderman said about the experiment.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/computer-expert-some-voting-machines-can-be-directly-hacked/article/2626633

At least he is saying it CAN be upgraded by 2018. At least the Russia hacks are bringing awareness to just how vulnerable our election technology is. Many have been trying to call attention for years...it is good that finally this is coming out in hearings.

Russian Hackers Targeted 21 States During Election, Official Says

So we knew about this long before the election. Even MSM was reporting it. Some would say they didn't change any actual vote totals. How do we know? Did they hack into these databases just to prove they could, and stop there?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian hackers targeted 21 U.S. states’ election systems in last year’s presidential race, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official told Congress on Wednesday.

Jeanette Manfra, the department’s acting deputy undersecretary of cyber security, would not identify which states had been targeted, citing confidentiality agreements. She reiterated to the Senate Intelligence Committee that there was no evidence that any actual vote ballots were manipulated.

Department officials had previously said about 20 states had been probed by hackers working on behalf of the Russian government, but recent media reports had suggested the number could have been far higher.

Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate panel, expressed frustration at Manfra’s refusal to identify which states had been targeted.

“I just fundamentally disagree,” he said.

Arizona and Illinois last year confirmed that hackers had targeted their voter registration systems.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/russian-hackers-election_us_594a8b04e4b0a3a837bc1ace?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=__HUFFPOSTHILL__062117&utm_content=__HUFFPOSTHILL__062117+CID_9b48436ceedeeab80fcb53374a21f47a&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Reuters&ncid=newsltushpmgnews__HUFFPOSTHILL__062117

What was it like when DU was down after the election, for those who were around?

I was very involved for several years after they stole the 2004 election and then busy with other things. I came back right after the 2016 election to discover it was down. What was that like for those of you who were involved at that time? Must have been nerve wracking.

On Rachel last night, Merkley said we need massive public outcry on ACA; not getting it like before

Last night on RAchel, Senator Merkley was on and said they need massive public outcry on health care; people are on vacation or distracted by Russia and Rs aren't getting nearly the outcry they had before. He organized the Dem protest in the Senate. He was asking people to please mobilize and make a lot of noise about it.

We have to be careful not to let Russia be such a distraction that Congress slides things by. Not that they are sliding by health care, but they aren't hearing from constituents like before. Net Neutrality is under attack also. We need Wonder Woman. But we can make their phones ring off the hooks.

If you think they stole it, read this: Elections officials outgunned in Russia's cyberwar against US

Elections officials outgunned in Russia’s cyberwar against America
By Greg Gordon, Ben Wieder and Kevin G. Hall

snip

What Brian and other election officials across eight states didn’t know until the leak of a classified intelligence is that Russian operatives hacked into the Florida headquarters of VR Systems, Inc., the vendor that sold them digital products to manage voter registrations.

A week before the election, the hackers sent emails using a VR Systems address to 122 state and local election officials across the country, inviting them to open an attachment wired with malicious software that spoofed “legitimate elections-related services,” the report said. The malware was designed to retrieve enough additional information to set the stage for serious mischief, said the National Security Agency report disclosed by the Intercept, an investigative web site.

That wasn’t the only type of attack.

snip

In Georgia, where a nationally watched congressional runoff race is scheduled for Tuesday, Politico magazine reported that a U.S. hacker from a national laboratory seeking to expose vulnerabilities in election systems was able to easily download millions of voter records from Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems, which manages them. Election watchdog groups say subsequent warnings to the state about a hole in their system went unheeded for months.

David Jefferson, a computer scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California who has acted in his personal capacity in trying to safeguard election integrity, said he believes it is “absolutely possible” that the Russians affected last year’s election.

“And we have done almost nothing to seriously examine that,” he said.
The web connecting the Trump administration to Russia

snip

“The Russians really were engaged in a pattern of attacks against the machinery of the election, and not merely a pattern of propaganda or information warfare and selective leaking,” said Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan computer science professor. “The question is, how far did they get in that pattern of attacks, and were they successful?”

Election officials across the country may not even know if they’ve been attacked, computer scientists say, pointing to the scenario that played out in Durham County.

State and local voting systems appear to be easy prey for sophisticated hackers.

snip

“If we don’t fix our badly broken system before the next major presidential election, we’re going to be hacked into,” said Barbara Simons, author of “Broken Ballots,” a 2012 book about election security published by Stanford University. “It might not just be Russia. It might be North Korea, China, Iran or partisans.”

While the Netherlands opted to shift to paper ballots when alerted the Russians were trying to swing its election outcome to the right, U.S. election officials have stood pat.

snip

“The ability to manipulate the vote tally, that’s quite complicated,” the Homeland Security official said. “We didn’t see an ability to really accomplish that even in an individual voting machine. You have to have physical access to do that. It’s not as easy as you think.”

Some of the nation’s top experts in voting security disagree.

Lawrence Livermore’s Jefferson voiced frustration with the “defensive” refrain of denials from state and local election officials, including the National Association of Secretaries of State.

“Election officials do not talk about vulnerabilities,” Jefferson said, “because that would give the advantage to the attacker. And they don’t want to undermine public confidence in elections.”

North Carolina was considered to be a swing state in the presidential race, and Durham County, with an African-American population of more than 37 percent, had voted more than 75 percent in favor of putting and keeping Barack Obama in the White House. Last year’s governor’s race was a dead heat entering Election Day.

The chaos in Durham County led to 90-minute delays. Some voters rang a Voter Protection Hotline to complain that their names had disappeared from the registration system or that they were told they already had voted.

The county hired a contractor to investigate the foul-up, but the inquiry never examined whether the system was hacked.

Twenty other North Carolina counties used the system, including Mecklenburg County, encompassing most of Charlotte. Though none reported problems on the scale of Durham County, release of the NSA report prompted the North Carolina Board of Elections to order a new investigation.

A former FBI agent is leading the inquiry. Critics say the three-member investigative team again lacks expertise in forensics.

snip

Halderman, the University of Michigan expert, said he believes the best solution is for states to require paper trails for all voting equipment and post-election audits to ensure the vote counts are authentic.

“There’s no guarantee that we’ll know we’re under attack,” he said, “unless we do the quality control that we need by doing these audits to detect manipulation.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article157039299.html#storylink=cpy

And just so you know there is hope, Verified Voting is doing great work on this:
https://www.verifiedvoting.org/about-vvo/
Most of the experts mentioned in the article are involved with them.
You can sign up for their email list on their site.

Edited to add: Example of one thing Verified Voting did recently:

Verified Voting Blog: Technology Experts’ Letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp
Regarding the FBI criminal investigation into an alleged cyber attack of the Kennesaw State University Center for Election Systems
https://www.verifiedvoting.org/verified-voting-letter-to-georgia-secretary-of-state-brian-kemp/



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