Security experts of the United States are reporting errors in the voting app made for overseas military voters and now tested for use in the United States. According to a recent paper, written by three senior experts at the Massachusetts Institute of technology, the weaknesses of the smartphone-based application might allow the hackers to view, block or change the results of smartphone ballots before their counting.
The IT firm, Voatz, designed the app and its technology-led until now in West Virginia, Utah and Colorado. In a statement, the company named the report “flawed on its Website on Thursday. Voatz stated that they want to make clear that all nine of their legislative pilot elections conducted to date, involving below six hundred voters, conducted securely and safely with zero reported issues.
The main focus of the researchers is to disrupt the process of election intentionally, to spread doubt in the security of the U.S. election infrastructure, and to sow confusion along with fear. The report released about mounting concerns about the app’s use and online tools of voting in the upcoming 2020 United States Presidential election following the unsatisfactory outcome of reporting tools in the Iowa caucuses.
Utah used the App for disabled and overseas military voters
In 2019, Utah Province, Utah started using Voatz app for disabled as well as overseas military voters. In an interview, Amelia Powers Gardner, the County clerk, said that Voatz made more sense than the former online ballot system, that required the remote electorates to cast their votes through email.
Gardner told CNN that a review of Utah County about the implementation of Voatz – preceding the publications of MIT report – didn’t reveal any problems. Gardner further said that during the phone discussion with the MIT researchers, it became clear they chose voting to done within the traditional way, such as with the help of pencil and paper.
The conclusions of the experts regarding the security risks in the Voatz app, based on a reverse-engineered version of the app, which they ran in a simulated environment. According to the latest research, a hacker who takes control of a smartphone with the installed app may interfere in the process of voting by changing votes or guessing out which candidate an elector supports.