When was the last time you finished a game of Monopoly–like actually finished it, didn’t get bored in the middle, get up to grab a drink and then just never return? We assume it’s been quite some time, as Monopoly is basically the jury duty of board games: lots of sitting around, not much action, maybe getting into a tussle with a weird old guy over ethics, etc.
Parts of New York and New Jersey are still without power from the last major news event and yet here we are, in the throes of election day. And with cleanup efforts still ongoing, there’s really no excuse for anyone who forgets one of the lessons we just learned about the rapid speed at which misinformation courses through social media in general and Twitter in particular.
For the love of God, as you go about your day for the next several hours, please take almost everything you read on Twitter with a grain of salt. No, a barrel. Maybe an entire salt lick.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
The Argonne National Laboratory’s Vulnerability Assessment Team specializes in assessing security weaknesses. They examine physical devices like locks, seals, security tags–and voting machines. How easy is it to hack certain brands of voting machine? Turns out Argonne’s Roger Johnston discovered it was way too easy to hack the touchscreen Diebold Accuvote-TSX. That’s a little alarming, since versions of this machine will be used to cast up to 9 million votes on Tuesday, November 6th. (You know, tomorrow.)
In an article in Popular Science magazine, Mr. Johnston explained that he used a “man-in-the-middle” hack on one of the Diebold machines, simply attaching a small microprocessor that allowed him to essentially interfere with whatever the voter intended to do. Worse still, Mr. Johnston says you can do this with pretty much any voting machine, because as far as he knows, most of them are not encrypted. One thing, however, works against any would-be voting machine hacker’s malevolent, vote-stealing intentions: