It was only a replica of the actual website, but that doesn’t negate the seriousness of the ease of the break-in. Emmett, an 11-year-old Austin, Texas, resident, participated in an election security hacking demonstration at Def Con in Las Vegas this past weekend. The event pitted kids against replicas of different secretary of states’ Web pages for reporting election results to the public, complete with all the security features (or lack thereof) that the real-life Web pages have.
Overall, 47 kids took a swing at hacking the replica pages. TechCrunch reports that 89 percent of them successfully broke in and were able to alter the information displayed.
“The really important reason why we’re doing this is because we’re not taking the problem serious enough how significantly someone can mess with our elections,” said Nico Sell, founder of Wickr, which helped create the pseudo Web pages. “And by showing this with eight-year-old kids we can call attention to the problem in such a way that we can fix the system so our democracy isn’t ruined.”