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An Expert Explains the Many Ways Our Elections Can Be Hacked

On the second episode of CYBER, Kim Zetter talks about America's outdated voting machines.

by Jason Koebler
Nov 19 2018, 6:29pm

Image: Cathryn Virginia

When you say “election hacking” it means something different than the Kremlin's disinformation campaigns. On this episode of CYBER, we talk about what real election hacking is with Motherboard contributor Kim Zetter, who just wrote a piece for New York Times Magazine called “The Crisis of Election Security.” Kim says the real vulnerability in our system is something of our own making: the outdated voting machines we use to carry out our key civic duties.

Kim has been the country's top election security reporter for years. She's explored whether Georgia's voting system was hacked by the Russians in 2016, exposed the fact that some states buy voting machine repair parts from eBay, and shown that a top voting-machine vendor installed remote-access software on many of its voting machines (that's bad!)

Many of the voting machines we just used in the midterm elections run on Windows XP, and some of them have known vulnerabilities that haven't been patched for 10 years. If our elections haven't been hacked in some way, we'd be extremely fortunate.

"There are many ways I could think of to subvert an elections," Zetter said. "No matter what system you put in place, there's a possibility of it being subverted."

CYBER is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, every podcast app, Soundcloud, and as a direct MP3 download.