Do the Democrats know something we don’t?
Democrats tell us all the time: there is no such thing as voter fraud. Show them the evidence – such as this report from the Public Interest Legal Foundation that found more than 1,000 non-citizens registered to vote in Virginia -– and they reply, well that is just anecdotal.
And if Project Veritas captures the Democrat Commissioner on the New York City Board of Elections admitting in an undercover video that Democrats “bus people around to vote” all the time, why, that’s just gonzo journalism by a “convicted felon.”
Rest assured, Virginia: our elections are secure. There is no organized voter fraud, and to suggest otherwise – as Donald Trump did last week – is just downright un-American. How do we know this? Because President Obama just told us so.
Of course, when Obama first ran for President in 2008, he expressed concern that hackers could gain access to electronic voting machines to alter the results, and told supporters he wanted to set up a non-partisan election integrity division at the Justice Department “that is serious about investigating cases of vote fraud.”
That division has been extremely active over the past eight years investigating – sorry. Obama never established the voter integrity division at DoJ. Instead, he had his attorney general quash the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of Top Secret classified information on her private email server.
Should we be concerned about the integrity of the electronic voting machines in use by many states around the country?
You bet we should.
On Thursday, top cybersecurity experts presented two disturbing reports at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) in Washington, DC.
Their research papers were titled “Hacking Elections is Easy.”
The first report focused on the vulnerabilities of the electronic voting machines themselves.
Advocates of electronic voting machines like to reassure the public that it’s impossible to hack the machines because they are “air-gapped” from the Internet, just as secure systems used by the intelligence community or the Pentagon.
But according to researchers James Scott and Drew Spaniel, that’s just an illusion. “A skilled and dedicated adversary can remotely breach servers or airgaps and exfiltrate the proprietary system files upon which United States elections depend,” they write.
Because voting machines and their operating systems use “black box” (proprietary) technology that can only be serviced by the manufacturers, hackers could also upload an “exploit” to produce pre-determined election results “at the manufacturer level,” they found.
The United States currently uses 36 different systems from 15 manufacturers. Despite multiple reports of system vulnerabilities, “few, if any manufacturers have patched vulnerabilities or even minimally hardened their system,” they added.
Worse, “the attack vectors, vulnerabilities, and information necessary to exploit these critical systems are in publically available white papers, online blogs, on non-profit groups’ webpages, and in YouTube videos.”
And that is just the beginning of the bad news.
“Spear-phishing” emails sent to low level staffers – you know, the type that ask you to change your password, or to click on an attachment, or even to play an amusing video game – can be used to install malware on voting systems.
In all likelihood, hackers acquired access to John Podesta’s emails in this manner.
In commenting on the report, Jim Walter, an expert with Cylance Security’s “SPEAR” research team, said “it doesn’t take a nation state” to hack our electronic voting systems. “It does not require a high level of sophistication to do this.”
Now, we have been told repeatedly that the FBI believes Russia attempted to breach the voter data bases of more than two dozen states.
Given the way the FBI was manipulated and its findings not just misrepresented, but actually turned on their head, by the Obama administration in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, can anyone really trust what this administration says about the FBI anymore?
How do we know that FBI cyber-experts actually came to the conclusion that Russia was behind these hacks? Because Joe Biden tells us so? Because Hillary Clinton claims that “17 U.S. intelligence agencies” concluded that Russia was behind the hacks? (Even the Director of National Intelligence was more circumspect than that).
The attempted breaches of voter data bases in Illinois and Arizona were first reported by Yahoo News at the end of August. At the time, unnamed officials told Yahoo that the FBI Cyber Division had issued two security bulletins warning that it had detected intrusions against two state election websites.
The bulletins did not identify the hackers or suggest they were state-sponsored, let alone Russian. It was a private sector security consultant named Rich Barger who made that insinuation.
“Barger noted that one of the IP addresses listed in the FBI alert has surfaced before in Russian criminal underground hacker forums. He also said the method of attack on one of the state election systems — including the types of tools used by the hackers to scan for vulnerabilities and exploit them — appears to resemble methods used in other suspected Russian state-sponsored cyberattacks, including one just this month on the World Anti-Doping Agency.”
Wouldn’t it be convenient, comrade, to discover that Russia was behind efforts to breach the security of two (or more) U.S. state voter data bases, especially since Hillary Clinton and her media allies have worked overtime to plant the idea in the mind of voters that Donald Trump is a Russian “puppet.”
In the event Trump wins on November 8, that will give Democrats all the justification they need to cry foul and to contest the election results (remember Al Gore in 2000?)
But what if the allegations of Russian involvement were a smokescreen meant to divert our attention away from the real operation underway?
What if the hacks were carried out by a Democrat National Committee dirty tricks operation similar to the one recently exposed by Project Veritas? What if the goal was rig the results in key swing states by a significant enough percentage that not even Donald Trump would call for a recount?
I don’t pretend to know if this is true. But these latest technical reports about the extreme vulnerability of our electronic voting system makes it clear that such questions are legitimate.
There are plenty of ways to cheat in elections, from making cemeteries vote, or registering non-citizens, or by encouraging individuals to register and vote in multiple states.
These all present significant threats to the integrity of this election. But hacking the electronic voting systems could have the most far-reaching impact. As one of the participants at the ICIT forum put it last week, “our election system is fair game.”
The second ICIT report concludes with these dark words:
“The question is not “Are script kiddies, lone-wolves, hacktivists, cyber-mercenaries, or nation-state actors from Russia or China trying to impact our elections?” Rather, due to our virtually defenseless election process, the questions that should be asked are “Why wouldn’t they?” and “How do we know that they have not already done so?”
I ran a very active campaign as the Republican nominee for Congress in Maryland’s 8th district in 2012, and won Democrat precincts no Republican had won in a generation. Along with hundreds of volunteers, I canvassed tens of thousands of households, and won the backing of dozens of national groups, including veterans groups, the NRA, pro-Israel organizations and rabbis, and Tea Party Express.
But when the votes from our touch-screen machines were finally counted, the results came within 1/10th of one percent of the projections made by the statisticians who advised the Maryland General Assembly when they produced the gerry-mandered redistricting plan in 2010.
Statisticians that good should get the Nobel Prize for Mathematics. Unless, of course, they weren’t really that good and the Democrats knew something the rest of us shlubs didn’t.