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Voting Machine Manual Instructed Election Officials To Use Weak Passwords

Tuesday November 6, 2018. 04:30 AM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: An election security expert who has done risk-assessments in several states since 2016 recently found a reference manual that appears to have been created by one voting machine vendor for county election officials and that lists critical usernames and passwords for the vendor's tabulation system. The passwords, including a system administrator and root password, are trivial and easy to crack, including one composed from the vendor's name. And although the document indicates that customers will be prompted periodically by the system to change the passwords, the document instructs customers to re-use passwords in some cases -- alternating between two of them -- and in other cases to simply change a number appended to the end of some passwords to change them.

The vendor, California-based Unisyn Voting Solutions, makes an optical-scan system called OpenElect Voting System for use in both precincts and central election offices. The passwords in the manual appear to be for the Open Elect Central Suite, the backend election-management system used to create election definition files for each voting machine before every election -- the files that tell the machine how to apportion votes based on the marks voters make on a ballot. The suite also tabulates votes collected from all of a county's Unisyn optical scan systems. The credentials listed in the manual include usernames and passwords for the initial log-in to the system as well as credentials to log into the client software used to tabulate and store official election results.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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