All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

Florida confirms cyber attack on voting systems

19 Mar 2013
ballot box

Authorities in Florida have announced that a voting fraud incident in last year's elections was partially the work of a cyber attack.

A grand jury investigating fraud in Miami-Dade County reported that during last year's primary election an automated program was used to manipulate the state's absentee voter registration platform.

The attack, which was spotted and thwarted by security protections in the system, rapidly applied for some 2,500 absentee ballots. Administrators only caught the attack when the registration system reported an anomaly in the traffic patterns.

After an investigation, the requests were traced back to IP addresses in India, the UK and Ireland, though the addresses were likely the work of a traffic anonymising tool being used by the attackers.

Had the attack been successful, the individual could have had access to enough absentee ballots to shift the outcome of the local election.

The incident has led to calls for the state to beef up its security protections for voter registration and require absentee voters to log in through a secured site with a user name and password.

"The security of the on-line absentee ballot request system is very low as there are no specific log-ins or passwords required by the voter requesting a ballot," the grand jury concluded in its report.

The security of online voting processes and has long been an area of scrutiny both for officials and the voting public. Experts have in the past worried that connected systems such as electronic voting booths can be compromised by an outside attacker and manipulated to influence elections.

Last year, encryption and security expert Bruce Schneier warned that securing online voting machines would prove next to impossible.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Tech gifts for Christmas 2014

Is a new tablet on your wish list this festive season, or have they become yesterday’s fad?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
iPhone 6 is available in silver gold and space grey

iPhone 6 video review

The best iOS handset to date

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

IT Risk & Data Analyst

A leading global banking organisation is seeking an experienced...

Service Desk Manager - Urgent - ITIL, Incident Management

Service Desk Manager - Urgent - Windows, Server, Incident...

Automation Software Test Engineer (Selenium)


Senior Software Test Engineer

Harvey Nash's fast paced technology client are seeking...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.