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Hacking The US Mid-Terms Is A Child’s Play

A 11 years old girl, Bianca Lewis told BBC, “I’m going to try and change the votes for Donald Trump. I’m going to try to give him less votes. Maybe even delete him off of the whole thing.”

Being an ordinary girl who likes to play with Barbie, video games, fencing and singing she also likes to hack the infrastructure behind the world’s most powerful democracy.

R00tz Asylum, a non-profit organization that promotes “hacking for good” has organized a competition where in a day 39 kids aged between 8 and 17 took part in the challenge to hack the replica website.

Aim of R00tz Asylum is to send out a dire warning: the voting systems that will be used across America for the mid-term vote in November are, in many cases, so insecure a young child can learn to hack them with just a few minute’s coaching.

Nico Sell, the founder of R00tz Asylum explained, “These are the websites that are very important because they report the election results to the public. They also tell the public where to go to vote. You could imagine if either of these two things were changed, the chaos that would ensue.”

As they all know that hacking the real websites would be illegal, so instead Ms. Sell’s team created 13 lookalike sites of the real website, gaping vulnerabilities and all, for 13 so-called “battleground” states – parts of the country where the vote is expected to be tight.

Among those 39 little participants, 35 successfully bypassed the trivial security. At one time the site told us 12 billion votes had been cast. Later, we were told that candidate “Bob Da Builder” was the victor.

Audrey Jones, 11 years old was the first competitor to break and it took only 10 minutes.

She told the reporters’, “The bugs in the code makes us [able] to do whatever we want. We call somebody our own name if we want to, make it look like we won the election!”

The contest was part of the kids’ zone at Def Con, the annual hacking conference in Las Vegas. This year it was attended by more than 300 eager children, trying everything from lock picking to soldering.

Ms. Sell says, “We need to take this threat really seriously. The Secretary of State websites should not be this vulnerable. These are known vulnerabilities. It’s something that we as a society need to gather together and fix, because our democracy is at risk.”

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