Fictional robot Bender, known as a goofy and aloof character in the animated series Futurama, has won a Washington DC election to determine the new head of the city’s public school board, thanks to a hack performed by a group of graduate students. By the way, it wasn’t too difficult to hack into the system. All they had to do was guess “admin” as the user name and password to gain credentialed access to the server.
As such, the hackers didn’t even need to be in the proximity of the DC area. In fact, they were from the University of Michigan. Okay, so by the way, this wasn’t a legitimate election. The city decided to open up a mock election and invited hackers to try to break their way into the system. But all the processes were put into place exactly as they would have been if a real contest were held today. It only took the grad students a few hours to successfully infiltrate the servers.
This situation brings to light the very real dangers that exist with electronic voting, a system that many states now use while others patently object to for these very obvious hacking concerns. The group of hackers also managed to gain access to a PDF file with voter information on ever registered DC citizen, and could tap into cameras that were stationed to view the voting systems. And yes, we are talking about Washington, DC, the capital city of this country.