EVM row: At Defcon, US, hackers break into voting machines
Las Vegas, July 31: The issue of tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), which created much uproar post assembly elections in five states earlier this year, is likely to create further noise as hackers at Defcon, US, said to have broken into voting machines over the weekend.
Defcon, one of the world's largest hacker conventions, is held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. This year, the four-day-long event ended on Sunday.
According to reports, hackers were given 26 EVMs to hack at the conference. First vulnerability was exposed within 90 minutes of opening of contest. A total of 14 hours were given to teams to hack into EVM security.
Earlier, in India an EVM challenge was hosted by the Election Commission (EC) after allegations against tampering of voting machines surfaced on June 3. As a part of the challenge, the EC made several EVMs available for political parties to hack.
Unfortunately, only two political parties, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) participated. However, none of the representatives of the CPM and the NCP tried to hack the EVMs.
After the end of the challenge, the then Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi said the issue of "tamperability of machines" should be closed with the end of the challenge.
"No tampering took place at the challenge. The parties only wanted to understand the functionality of EVMs and discuss and understand the technical aspects of the machines," he added.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has been at the forefront claiming that EVMs can be tampered with, called the EC's challenge a flop show. Parties like the AAP, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress stated that the EVMs had been tampered to help the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win in assembly polls of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
However, the EC rubbished these allegations. After the news of the hacking of EVMs at Defcon emerged on Monday, Twitter went berserk. Here we bring you a few tweets:
For those who said EVMs could not be hacked. EC had made hacking impossible at hackathon cos of too many restrictions! Now read this! https://t.co/P1XEfr6VZQ— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) July 30, 2017
Watch a video related to voting machine hacking at Defcon below: