An 11-year-old boy managed to hack into a replica of Florida’s election results website in 10 minutes and change names and tallies during a hackers convention, organizers said, stoking concerns about security ahead of nationwide votes.
The boy was the quickest of 35 children, ages 6 to 17, who all eventually hacked into copies of the websites of six swing states during the three-day Def Con security convention over the weekend, the event said on Twitter on Tuesday.
The event was meant to test the strength of U.S. election infrastructure and details of the vulnerabilities would be passed onto the states, it added.
The National Association of Secretaries of State – who are responsible for tallying votes – said it welcomed the convention’s efforts. But it said the actual systems used by states would have additional protections.
“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 association said.
The hacking demonstration came as concerns swirl about election system vulnerabilities before mid-term state and federal elections.
U.S President Donald Trump’s national security team warned two weeks ago that Russia had launched “pervasive” efforts to interfere in the November polls.
Participants at the convention changed party names and added as many as 12 billion votes to candidates, the event said.
“Candidate names were changed to ‘Bob Da Builder’ and ‘Richard Nixon’s head’,” the convention tweeted.
The convention linked to what it said was the Twitter account of the winning boy – named there as Emmett Brewer from Austin, Texas.
A screenshot posted on the account showed he had managed to change the name of the winning candidate on the replica Florida website to his own and gave himself billions of votes.
The convention’s “Voting Village” also aimed to expose security issues in other systems such as digital poll books and memory-card readers.
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Andrew Heavens
Before Trump eyed Greenland: Here’s what happened last time the US bought a large chunk of the Arctic
Editor’s note: Reports that President Donald Trump has urged aides to look into buying Greenland make us think of the last time the United States bought a major territory in the Arctic: the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. Two years ago, we asked William L. Iggiagruk Hensley, a visiting professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, to write about that historic sale.
‘That is ridiculous’: Andrew Gillum obliterates Santorum for claiming guns aren’t ‘problem’ in mass shootings
CNN contributor Andrew Gillum called conservative pundit Rick Santorum "ridiculous" on Sunday for suggesting that guns are not the problem in mass shootings.
During a CNN discussion on gun control, Santorum criticized calls from Democratic candidates for the government to buy back assault-style weapons in addition to banning them.
"The truth is something has to give," Gillum said. "The stranglehold that the NRA seems to have over Congress, over Washington, D.C., in my opinion, is insane. How can we put the priorities of one interest group above the safety, the security of the American people?"
CNN’s Jake Tapper confronts Trump adviser Navarro with long list of experts calling him a disaster
In a highly contentious interview on CNN's "State of the Union", host Jake Tapper confronted Donald Trump's top economic adviser, Peter Navarro, with a seemingly endless list of economists, analysts and business publications who believe he and his economic advice have both been a disaster and that he is not being straight with the public.
After refusing multiple times to concede that President Donald Trump's trade war -- and accompanying tariffs -- are having any effect on an economy that many financial prognosticators believe is headed towards a recession, Tapper confronted the White House adviser with the list of his critics -- including the Wall Street Journal.