When people talk about hacking into the U.S. election systems, a common reassurance given by officials is that voting machines aren’t connected to the internet, therefore cannot be hacked. It sounds good, but that’s not the whole story.
While true wireless voting machines aren’t directly plugged into the internet, they are equipped with cellular modems, which are notoriously easy to hack. According to McClatchy, there are cellular enabled voting machines certified to be in use in Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. You know, pivotal, swing states which could determine the outcome of the election.
“The voting machine vendors like to say, well, the voting machine modem is only used for transmitting the unofficial results when you close the polls back through the internet to county central where the clerk can post them,” Andrew W. Appel, a computer scientist at Princeton University told McClatchy.
“The problem is, that modem talking through the cell phone network really is more connected to the internet than they like to think.”
Worse yet, there doesn’t seem to be any consensus among state officials about how to protect the systems.