On Friday, an 11-year-old boy hacked into a Florida state election website and changed the voting results in under ten minutes. And no, he wasn’t Russian. He was one of 50 kids attending DEFCON 26, a giant hacking convention, and was participating in an event called the “Voting Machine Hacking Village.” Luckily, the website wasn’t real ⏤ it was a replica ⏤ but the point was the same nonetheless. If kids can change election results, the integrity of our elections is probably not safe.
During that event, the 50 kids all tried to hack over a dozen imitation websites that were designed to impersonate election sites in battleground states. Most of the kids, who were all between the ages of 8 and 16, managed to crack the sites in under 30 minutes and were able to alter party and candidate names, as well as tweak the candidates’ vote counts.
In response to the news, the National Association of Secretaries of State responded with concern but naturally expressed some doubt that what they did could successfully be done on the real websites. At least they hope not, for the sake of their jobs.”It would be extremely difficult to replicate these systems since many states utilize unique networks and custom-built databases with new and updated security protocols,” the statement read.