New U.S. Voting System Threat Report Finds Pennsylvania the Most Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

A report issued Thursday by the cybersecurity company Carbon Black stated that as we near election day, Pennsylvania might as well have a target on its back.

“If I was a 400-pound hacker, I would target Pennsylvania,” Ben Johnson of Carbon Black said in a report. His remark comes as a pun, relating to Donald Trump’s accusations about who was behind the DNC hacks earlier this year.

Intelligence agencies are leaning towards Russia, as opposed to a 400-pound, bedroom dwelling hacker.

Carbon Black believes Pennsylvania is a vulnerable target because all over the state, high risk electronic voting machines are in use that leave no paper trail. While this technology is innovative, the paper trails these machines are lacking could be useful to audit in the event of a recount.

These machines are high risk due to the fact they are all operating on severely outdated OS’ like Windows XP. XP hasn’t been patched by Microsoft since early 2014, leaving it vulnerable to any number of newer cyber-attack technology.

Other battleground states include Ohio, and Florida. These states aren’t as much of a high profile target because they use required audits, and Ohio conducts post-election audits as well as a manual recount in case of a tight race. Florida has the same safe guards as Ohio.

“The general lack of a paper trail throughout Pennsylvania is a recipe for disaster,” CEO of Carbon Black stated.

Before Co-founding Carbon Black, Ben Johnson was an engineer for the NSA, and a defense contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“If you buy something in the store with a credit card, you get a receipt. But if you cast your vote for president of the United States, you get nothing,” Johnson stated.

According to reports, over 40 states are using outdated voting machines. Carbon Black’s reports also state that since there is a general feeling of segregation as far as state voting standards and system goes, it is creating the perfect storm for hackers to wreak havoc.

Carbon Black says that it is too late to redesign every states voting system, but their public report contains tips for minimizing cyber-attack risks.

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