Defcon 2018, one of the most popular hacking conferences, is going on in Las Vegas. The conference, every year, sees famous hackers from around the world exhibiting their skills.
This year, an 11-year-old shook the whole United States after he hacked and altered election results on a replica of Florida state election website within just 10 minutes.
Going by the name of Emmert Brewer, the hacker was participating in the “DEFCON Voting Machine Hacking Village” event, which allowed young kids to tamper votes and manipulate election results as a means to identify the vulnerabilities of election websites and voting machines.
In another attempt by an 11-year-old girl, the Florida state election was not only hacked, but the girl managed to triple the number of votes found on the websites within 15 minutes.
Nico Sell, who is the co-founder of r00tz Asylum that teaches children how to become a hacker, said in an interview to PBS: “These are very accurate replicas of all of the sites. These things should not be easy enough for an 8-year-old kid to hack within 30 minutes.”
The National Association of Secretaries of State said that the organization is ready to work with the teams involved in the Defcon to understand and ward off the vulnerabilities found in voting machines and websites.
However, at the same time, the association also hinted that it is not as easy to hack an original website. An official statement said, “It would be extremely difficult to replicate these systems since many states utilize unique networks and custom-built databases with new and updated security protocols,”
Responding to the statement, Nico Sell said that the statement by NASS show that the Secretaries of the State are not taking this seriously.