A CIA cybersecurity expert said electronic voting machines like those used in the U.S. have likely been tampered with during elections in other countries.
BY GREG GORDON
''You heard the old adage `follow the money,' '' Stigall said, according to a transcript of his hour-long presentation obtained by McClatchy. ``I follow the vote. And wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that's an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to . . . make bad things happen.''
WASHINGTON -- The CIA, which has been monitoring foreign countries' use of electronic voting systems, has reported apparent vote-rigging schemes in Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine and a raft of concerns about the machines' vulnerability to tampering.
(...)In a presentation that could provide disturbing lessons for the United States, where electronic voting is becoming universal, Steve Stigall summarized what he described as attempts to use computers to undermine democratic elections in developing nations. His remarks have received no news media attention until now.
Stigall told the Election Assistance Commission, a tiny agency that Congress created in 2002 to modernize U.S. voting, that computerized electoral systems can be manipulated at five stages, from altering voter registration lists to posting results.
(...)Stigall said voting equipment connected to the Internet could be hacked, and machines that weren't connected could be compromised wirelessly. Eleven U.S. states have banned or limited wireless capability in voting equipment, but Stigall said elections officials didn't always know it when wireless cards were embedded in their machines.
While Stigall said he wasn't speaking for the CIA and wouldn't address U.S. voting systems, his presentation appeared to undercut calls by some U.S. politicians to shift to Internet balloting, at least for military personnel and other American citizens living overseas. Stigall said that most Web-based ballot systems had proved to be insecure.