The Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois has managed to hack a Diebold Accuvote touch-screen voting machine. Voting machines used by as many as a quarter of American voters heading to the polls in 2012 can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education, according to computer science.
“This is a national security issue,” VAT team leader Roger Johnston told me, echoing what I’ve been reporting other computer scientists and security experts telling me for years. “It should really be handled by the Department of Homeland Security.” “The level of sophistication it took to develop the circuit board” used in the attack “was that of basically an 8th grade science shop,” says Argonne’s John Warner. “Anybody with an electronics workbench could put this together.”
The Argonne team’s demonstration of the attack on a Diebold Accuvote machine is seen in a short new video shared exclusively with the Brad Blog. The team successfully demonstrated a similar attack on a touch-screen system made by Sequoia Voting Systems in 2009.
“The cost of the attack that you’re going to see was $10.50 in retail quantities,” explains Warner in the video. “If you want to use the RF [radio frequency] remote control to stop and start the attacks, that’s another $15. So the total cost would be $26.”