11-Year-Old Kid HACKS Florida Elections Website Replica

As the left repeatedly tells everyone that there is no such thing as voter fraud and that the government websites are safe from tampering, an 11-year-old boy hacked into a true replica of the Florida secretary of state website, successfully changing vote tallies, candidate names, and party information, as part of an exercise put on at a hacking convention called DEFCON Voting Village, with this apparently being the 26th edition.

In fact, according to the convention organizers, 35 out of 39 kids, aged 9-17, were able to accomplish this. DEFCON reports that the Diebold machines that the states use to tally votes were running on expired SSL certificates.

The drill was part of a test for vulnerabilities in multiple states’ voting systems, and the kids were “good guy hackers” to help formulate preventative measures to stop real hacking. These “good guy hackers” are known as “penetration testers” or “pentesters” and it’s common for large companies to hire such employees so that if any exploitations are possible, at the least the people finding them would be working for the company and not malicious hackers.

PBS reports:

An 11-year-old boy on Friday was able to hack into a replica of the Florida state election website and change voting results found there in under 10 minutes during the world’s largest yearly hacking convention, DEFCON 26, organizers of the event said.

Thousands of adult hackers attend the convention annually, while this year a group of children attempted to hack 13 imitation websites linked to voting in presidential battleground states.

The boy, who was identified by DEFCON officials as Emmett Brewer, accessed a replica of the Florida secretary of state’s website. He was one of about 50 children between the ages of 8 and 16 who were taking part in the so-called “DEFCON Voting Machine Hacking Village,” a portion of which allowed kids the chance to manipulate party names, candidate names and vote count totals.

Nico Sell, the co-founder of the the non-profit r00tz Asylum, which teaches children how to become hackers and helped organize the event, said an 11-year-old girl also managed to make changes to the same Florida replica website in about 15 minutes, tripling the number of votes found there.

Sell said more than 30 children hacked a variety of other similar state replica websites in under a half hour.

“These are very accurate replicas of all of the sites,” Sell told the PBS NewsHour on Sunday. “These things should not be easy enough for an 8-year-old kid to hack within 30 minutes, it’s negligent for us as a society.”

Sell said the idea for the event began last year, after adult hackers were able to access similar voting sites in less than five minutes.

The article goes on to include a wishy-washy statement from the National Association of Secretaries of State, along with a response from Sell, who says:

“To me that statement says that the secretaries of states are not taking this seriously. Although it’s not the real voting results it’s the results that get released to the public. And that could cause complete chaos,” she said. “The site may be a replica but the vulnerabilities that these kids were exploiting were not replicas, they’re the real thing.”

“I think the general public does not understand how large a threat this is, and how serious a situation that we’re in right now with our democracy,” she said.

Another organizer of the event, Matt Blaze, notes that the IT replicas in this test were actually designed to be stronger than the real government websites and servers.

But there’s no voter fraud, right?


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