New charges of voting machine hacking, fuel concerns of quid pro quo behavior in Russian connection analysis

Despite recent denials from the administration, new claims of Russian hacking combined with the fact that Trump campaign aides had repeated contact with Russian intelligence agencies has led many to call to for a real look into the voting systems.

Due to recent concerns, voting systems scientists have been in recent communication with members of Congress and the intelligence community and have requested the ability to do a forensic analysis of the voting systems according to a National Association of Voting Officials spokesperson.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania recount effort continues, with numerous charges that the voting machines are vulnerable, outdated and hackable.

Computer scientists have been talking about how easy it is to hack our voting systems for years, but there has never been a more urgent need for our government to take action and secure the voting systems. With the recent hacking of the Election Assistance Commission, the hacking of the DNC, targeting of over 20 confirmed states, including the penetration of Illinios, Florida and Arizona (causing the system to go offline for 9 days), there has never been a more urgent need to secure our voting systems.

It is also important to note that there have been individual accounts of voting machines changing the actual results. For example, Maggie Thomas, who assisted in the recount effort in Wisconsin, reported an incident where the voting machines in an approximate 1200 vote count declared Trump winning, despite a simultaneous hand count and 4 witnesses seeing otherwise. Thomas’ concern was that if a machine could make such a manipulation on a small scale, large scale changes statewide, could declare the wrong winner.

The intrusions themselves, have been suspected to have originated by Russian Hacking organizations. Additionally, the Russians have had a verifiable hacking program which has already targeted the elections systems in other countries as in FranceUkraine, and Germany. These do not include the many other numerous non-election systems, such as in Norway, which have done for purposes for political opportunity, financial gain, or using spear-phishing and ransomware tactics.

Finally, it is important to point out that King Servers has already taken responsibility for allegedly having hackers on its system and the IP addresses in questions have been documented, not only through the FBI notice, but also through an online Spam tracking website, Clean Talk, which monitors IP addresses and spam complaints.

Vladimir Fomenko who owns the servers explained that hackers logged into the server from various countries. Fomenko believes that the logs he has help him to confidently refute Russia was behind any attacks, however, some interesting questions still remain:

1. The hacking occurred in June, but the servers were not shut down until September 15. Why did it take 3 months to shut down the servers — is there a reasonable explanation for this delay?

2. Fomenko is claiming that people on his server may have been responsibility for the DNC hack, but the IP addresses listed demonstrate responsibility for the Voting Systems hacks. Why is there a discrepancy here?

3. Is it possible that the DNC hacks AND the Voting System hacks could have been accomplished from these servers?

4. Is Fomenko going to release the IP logs detailing information of the hacking?

Needless to say, there is a lot still to be investigated with regard to the King Server issue. The physical records still need to be released and evaluated properly. We also need to take into consideration that the U.S. lost some of its most valuable hacking tools last year and that some of these tools have been placed for ransom on the internet. If a state, such as Russia, were to have access to these tools, as well as a sophisticated network of spam, why would they not use them against the voting systems in the United States? If it were an individual or even a small group, the fact remains that election hacking and voting system penetration already occurred.

Considering their documented success, why would those responsible for hacking the voting systems not use their skills to directly change the voting results?