[CAVO] Fwd: [VVSG-election] [VVSG-interoperability] By November, Russian hackers could target voting machines

Brent Turner turnerbrentm at gmail.com
Thu Jul 28 14:12:02 UTC 2016

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Arthur Keller <ark at soe.ucsc.edu>
Date: Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 7:02 AM
Subject: Re: [VVSG-election] [VVSG-interoperability] By November, Russian
hackers could target voting machines
To: Paul Lux <plux at co.okaloosa.fl.us>
Cc: vvsg-election <vvsg-election at nist.gov>, vvsg-pre-election <
vvsg-pre-election at nist.gov>, vvsg-post-election <vvsg-post-election at nist.gov>,
vvsg-interoperability <vvsg-interoperability at nist.gov>

Thanks, Paul. Stuxnet crossed air gaps. Blank CDs burned each time with
fresh data that goes one way is better but not foolproof. Hacks can be
planted earlier and be programmed to erase their trace after Election Day.

Best regards,

On Jul 28, 2016, at 6:51 AM, Paul Lux <plux at co.okaloosa.fl.us> wrote:

Florida “fixed” this by requiring an air-gap (sneakernet) between
tabulation systems and election reporting system.  All voting is by
marksense ballot, with the rare exception of those in the disability
community who must vote using a touch screen machine (and then only in
jurisdictions that aren’t using AutoMARKs).

Not 100% foolproof, but certainly a better-mitigated solution than many
all-electroninc voting jurisdictions.

*Paul Lux, CERA*

*Supervisor of Elections*


*Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections*

*Election Headquarters (Crestview)*:  *850.689.5600 <850.689.5600>*

*Branch Office (Fort Walton Beach):* *850.651.7272 <850.651.7272>*

*Email*: plux at co.okaloosa.fl.us

*Visit us online at* www.govote-okaloosa.com

*From:* vvsg-interoperability-bounces at nist.gov [
mailto:vvsg-interoperability-bounces at nist.gov
<vvsg-interoperability-bounces at nist.gov>] *On Behalf Of *Arthur Keller
*Sent:* Thursday, July 28, 2016 8:23 AM
*To:* Deutsch, Herb
*Cc:* vvsg-election; vvsg-pre-election; vvsg-post-election;
*Subject:* Re: [VVSG-interoperability] By November, Russian hackers could
target voting machines

But vote tabulation and especially roll up is often connected to the
Internet. And with the lack of effective audits in more jurisdictions,
hacking the Internet-connected vote tabulation systems would do the trick.

In particular, if the vote tabulation system is connected to the web
reporting system, then that's an avenue for attack.

There's a difference between auditable and actually audited. If the results
are sufficiently skewed on election night, post election audits may not
matter anyway. They didn't even matter in Florida in 2000 where the
election was close.

Could the programming of electronic voting machines be hacked in a Stuxnet
type attack while they are loaded with the election data file?

If China can hack Google, do we really believe there's no way Russia can't
hack enough counties or states to change the outcome of the presidential

Best regards,


On Jul 28, 2016, at 6:07 AM, Deutsch, Herb <hdeutsch at essvote.com> wrote:

Voting machines are not attached to the internet.  You can’t hack them
without physical control and that is auditable.

*From:* vvsg-interoperability-bounces at nist.gov [
mailto:vvsg-interoperability-bounces at nist.gov
<vvsg-interoperability-bounces at nist.gov>] *On Behalf Of *Arthur Keller
*Sent:* Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:30 AM
*To:* John Wack
*Cc:* vvsg-election; vvsg-pre-election; vvsg-post-election;
*Subject:* [VVSG-interoperability] By November, Russian hackers could
target voting machines

What should the election community do about this threat?

Best regards,



By November, Russian hackers could target voting machines
If Russia really is responsible, there's no reason political interference
would end with the DNC emails.


By Bruce Schneier July 27 at 3:10 PM

Bruce Schneier <https://www.schneier.com> is a security technologist and a
lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His
latest book is *Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data
and Control Your World* <https://www.schneier.com/book-dg.html>.

Russia was behind the hacks into the Democratic National Committee’s
computer network that led to the release of thousands of internal emails
just before the party’s convention began, U.S. intelligence agencies have

The FBI is investigating. WikiLeaks promises
is more data to come. The political nature
of this cyberattack means that Democrats and Republicans are trying to spin
this as much as possible. Even so, we have to accept that someone is
attacking our nation’s computer systems in an apparent attempt to influence
a presidential election. This kind of cyberattack targets the very core of
our democratic process. And it points to the possibility of an even worse
problem in November — that our election systems and our voting machines
could be vulnerable to a similar attack.

If the intelligence community has indeed ascertained that Russia is to
blame, our government needs to decide what to do in response. This is
difficult because the attacks are politically partisan, but it is
foreign governments learn that they can influence our elections with
impunity, this opens the door for future manipulations
both document thefts and dumps like this one that we see and more subtle
manipulations that we don’t see.

Retaliation is politically fraught and could have serious consequences, but
this is an attack against our democracy. We need to confront Russian
President Vladimir Putin in some way — politically, economically or in
cyberspace — and make it clear that we will not tolerate this kind of
interference by any government. Regardless of your political leanings this
time, there’s no guarantee the next country that tries to manipulate our
elections will share your preferred candidates.

Even more important, we need to secure our election systems before autumn.
If Putin’s government has already used a cyberattack to attempt to help Trump
there’s no reason to believe he won’t do it again — especially now that Trump
is inviting the “help.”

Over the years, more and more states have moved to electronic voting
machines and have flirted with Internet voting. These systems are
 and <https://www.salon.com/2011/09/27/votinghack/> vulnerable

*[Your iPhone just got less secure. Blame the FBI.

But while computer security experts like me
<https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2004/11/the_problem_wit.html> have
 the <http://homepage.cs.uiowa.edu/%7Ejones/voting/congress.html> alarm
 for <https://citp.princeton.edu/research/voting/> many years, states have
largely ignored the threat, and the machine manufacturers have thrown up
enough obfuscating babble that election officials are largely mollified.

We no longer
 have time <https://xkcd.com/463/> for that. We must ignore the machine
manufacturers’ spurious claims <https://www.salon.com/2006/09/13/diebold_3/> of
security, create tiger teams to test the machines’ and systems’ resistance
to attack, drastically increase their cyber-defenses and take them offline
if we can’t guarantee their security online.

Longer term, we need to return to election systems that are secure from
manipulation. This means voting machines with voter-verified paper audit
trails <http://votingmachines.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000291>,
and no
know it’s slower and less convenient to stick to the old-fashioned way, but
the security risks are simply too great.

There are other ways to attack our election system on the Internet besides
hacking voting machines or changing vote tallies: deleting voter records
hijacking candidate or party websites, targeting and intimidating campaign
workers or donors. There have already been multiple instances of
political doxing
<https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2015/11/the_rise_of_pol.html> —
publishing personal information and documents about a person or
organization — and we could easily see more of it in this election cycle.
We need to take these risks much more seriously than before.

Government interference with foreign elections isn’t new, and in fact,
that’s something the United States itself has repeatedly done
recent history. Using cyberattacks to influence elections is newer but has
been done before, too — most notably in Latin America
<http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-how-to-hack-an-election/>. Hacking
of voting machines isn’t new, either. But what is new is a foreign
government interfering with a U.S. national election on a large scale. Our
democracy cannot tolerate it, and we as citizens cannot accept it.

*[Why would Russia try to hack the U.S. election? Because it might work.

Last April, the Obama administration issued
how we as a nation respond to cyberattacks against our critical
infrastructure. While our election technology was not explicitly mentioned,
our political process is certainly critical. And while they’re a hodgepodge
of separate state-run systems, together their security affects every one of
us. After everyone has voted, it is essential that both sides believe the
election was fair and the results accurate. Otherwise, the election has no

Election security is now a national security issue; federal officials need
to take the lead, and they need to do it quickly.
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