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The simple way the U.S. could prevent vote hacking in the 2020 elections

Malea Lamb-Hall, 24 September 2020

There has been much pre-election talk about the supposed danger of postal voting, but a far more realistic threat comes from hackers attacking electronic voting machines

With the Covid-19 pandemic likely to see more voters casting their ballot remotely, the concern around the vote being hacked is a very real one. However, there's a surprising way that electronic voting fraud can be beaten. 

Further reading: Election hacking: A September update

Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, offers a low-tech, but incredibly effective, solution. Speaking in 2019 ahead of his appearance at the award-winning CyberSec&AI Connected conference, Alex argued for a return to the backup of “paper trails” for ballots. 

Alex, who has researched elections not only in the U.S., but as far afield as Australia and Estonia, said: “All we need to do is take advantage of physical safeguards, like having a paper record of each vote – and employing people to check those records. The main impediment is politics. That’s not so much artificial intelligence as it is common sense.” You can listen to Alex’s full talk here.

Alex is a renowned expert on electronic voting fraud and regularly consulted by governments around the world on combating and preventing election fraud. In 2008, he made headlines when he demonstrated the vulnerability of U.S. voting machines by reprogramming one machine to play Pac-Man

If you’re interested in cybersecurity, AI, and machine learning, this year’s CyberSec&AI Connected conference takes place online on Thursday, October 8. As the event is fully virtual, you can attend from wherever you are in the world. 

The event is designed for industry professionals and academics working at the intersection of AI and cybersecurity. 2020’s speaker lineup is led by Garry Kasparov (Avast’s Security Ambassador and Chess Grandmaster) and Roger Dingledine (Co-founder of the Tor Project). Alongside the main talks and a panel discussion on bias in AI, the event includes in-depth technical workshops and networking sessions. 


To join, visit our booking page and check out our 3 for 2 access offer and our special academic discount pricing.