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Unread 2019-06-14, 11:53   #1
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aarkieboy
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Feb 5 2003
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"A little more than a week ago, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that it was going to forensically analyze computer equipment associated with part of the 2016 elections in North Carolina in association with questions about Russian hacking. The news prompted an information security researcher to announce that he’d found evidence of other election security issues in North Carolina last fall, which he’d kept quiet until now.

Chris Vickery, the director of cyber-risk research at UpGuard, a cybersecurity services firm, tweeted June 7 that he had found an unlocked online repository that contained what he said were passwords for touchscreen voting machines. The repository, he said, also contained other information, including serial numbers for machines that had modems, which theoretically could have allowed them to connect to the internet.

Vickery said that after he found the open repository in September 2018, he immediately told state officials, who locked the file. State officials have told Mother Jones that the passwords were nearly 10 years old and encrypted—a claim disputed by Vickery and a Democratic technology consultant in North Carolina—but admitted that the file shouldn’t have been publicly available online.

In a statement provided to Mother Jones, State Board of Elections spokesperson Patrick Gannon said the passwords were encrypted and only applied to machines from one county that used them in 2010. Any suggestion that the passwords’ discovery in an open online repository posed a danger to elections was “false and irresponsible,” he said. Even if an attacker could have decrypted the passwords, the passwords would’ve been changed before the 2011 elections and every subsequent election, and “there is no way they could have been used to affect any election.”

But others disagree." (More)
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