Top voting machine vendor planted remote access software.

By |2018-07-19T13:06:41+00:00July 19th, 2018|Categories: Front Page, News|Tags: , , , , |14 Comments

“The worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.”

Courtesy of Motherboard

The nation’s top voting machine maker has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, raising questions about the security of those systems and the integrity of elections that were conducted with them.

In a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in April and obtained recently by Motherboard, Election Systems and Software acknowledged that it had “provided pcAnywhere remote connection software … to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” which was installed on the election-management system ES&S sold them.

The statement contradicts what the company told me and fact checkers for a story I wrote for the New York Times in February. At that time, a spokesperson said ES&S had never installed pcAnywhere on any election system it sold. “None of the employees, … including long-tenured employees, has any knowledge that our voting systems have ever been sold with remote-access software,” the spokesperson said.

The presence of such software makes a system more vulnerable to attack from hackers, especially if the remote-access software itself contains security vulnerabilities. If an attacker can gain remote access to an election-management system through the modem and take control of it using the pcAnywhere software installed on it, he can introduce malicious code that gets passed to voting machines to disrupt an election or alter results.

Wyden told Motherboard that installing remote-access software and modems on election equipment “is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.”

As it turns out the source code for this remote access software was stolen in 2006, and the public was only told about it in 2012. 

Many machines are still using the software, though they are supposed to be updated with patches that prevent hackers from accessing them. 


Even if ES&S and its customers configured their remote connections to ES&S in a secure manner, the recent US indictments against Russian state hackers who tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential elections, show that they targeted companies in the US that make software for the administration of elections. An attacker would only have had to hack ES&S and then use its network to slip into a county’s election-management system when the two systems made a remote connection.

Well, that’s just fucking great. 

About the Author:

This blog is dedicated to finding the truth, exposing the lies, and holding our politicians and leaders accountable when they fall far short of the promises that they have made to both my fellow Alaskans and the American people.


  1. Anonymous July 19, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Well gosh, why don’t we have putin fill out our ballots for us.

  2. Anonymous July 19, 2018 at 4:26 am

    Remember how trump said he didn’t need Air Force One and what a great deal maker he is, well he just made a deal with boeing and the new Air Force One will cost $1 Billion dollars MORE !! such a deal maker. I like to know what crap he has ordered because a bed and paint job can’t cost $1Billion , gold toilets for executive time? Hope we can still cancel the deal after his removal from office
    Art of the Bum Deal: Donald Trump has managed to increase the cost of Air Force One by $1 billion

    …..Trump has actually raised the cost of this project by over $1 billion.
    But it’s not as if America isn’t getting some value for its money. That new, revised, and much higher price includes an all-new, all-gaudy red, white and blue paint job that will replace the cool blue that Air Force One has maintained since there has been an Air Force One—because there’s nothing like replacing a classic, understated design known the world around one from the mind of a man who doesn’t understand the words “too much.” The new Air Force One will also likely come with a larger bed. Because Trump insists that the current bed is too small. And he needs space for “executive time.”…..

    • anon July 19, 2018 at 7:54 am

      X2> Dotard ordered a second plane t00. 2billion…

  3. Anonymous July 19, 2018 at 5:23 am

    Tell me again that no votes were changed.

  4. Maria in NM July 19, 2018 at 6:44 am

    If something isn’t done about this (paper ballots!), then we are so utterly screwed.

  5. ies! July 19, 2018 at 7:47 am


  6. anon July 19, 2018 at 7:48 am

    “The Oklahoma Department of Health has two lawsuits pending, saying that they overstepped the law that was passed with their regulation of medical marijuana. One lawsuit from the Oklahoma ACLU alleges a breach of the 14th Amendment because the department would require a pregnancy test for women seeking medical marijuana licenses. Currently there is no other such requirement anywhere in the United States, nor does Oklahoma require a pregnancy test for opioid prescriptions.”

    • Beaglemom July 19, 2018 at 9:11 am

      And what has that to do with voting machines?

  7. anonymous July 19, 2018 at 8:11 am

    “Democrats, however, said that Republicans are “aiding and abetting” Trump by refusing to recognize risks of Russian hacking and to stand up to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

    “The American people should be very worried about the commitment of this president and his Republican allies in Congress to securing our elections,” said Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.).
    “This is a party that has worked with this administration to undermine and minimize the investigation surrounding Russian interference in our presidential election.”

    But the GOP chairman of the House Rules Committee, Pete Sessions of Texas, said that arguments from Democrats were “shrewd political shenanigans that have no merit.””

    The Taming of the Shrew, by C. R. Leslie.
    The shrew – an unpleasant, ill-tempered woman characterised by scolding, nagging, and aggression[1] – is a comedic, stock character in literature and folklore, both Western and Eastern.[2] The best-known work with this theme is probably Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew. The figure represents insubordinate female behaviour in a marital system of polarised gender roles, that is male-dominated in a moral hierarchy.” “A common central theme of such literature and folktales is the often forceful “taming” of shrewish wives by their husbands.[2] Arising in folklore, in which community story-telling can have functions of moral censorship or suasion, it has served to affirm traditional values and moral authority regarding polarised gender roles, and to address social unease about female behavior in marriage.”

  8. Anonymous July 19, 2018 at 8:32 am

    “This sudden skepticism, in those I’ve talked to, has its roots in the indefensibility of Trump’s performance, which was either a gross display of international domination or something more sinister.”
    “, the entire lot of them seemingly realizing, as the day played out, that their pursuit of electoral power and legislative agenda had tied them to a very large stone that was sinking very quickly.”

    “The impetus for this entirely imaginary upheaval would be the now-legendary 30,000 emails belonging to Clinton that have now seemingly been lost to time. Among her most devout critics it was widely rumored and believed that these emails would eventually be uncovered and might contain incriminating evidence that would disqualify her from office. These revelations were rumored to include massive financial fraud, gross neglect of duty and possibly proof of a conspiracy involving the Clintons and the terrorist group ISIS.

    Members were buzzing with this gossip when a projector turned on and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared via an internet chat system. Assange, currently holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, spoke as a special guest of the Green Party at its convention and repeatedly lambasted Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, likening the former senator and secretary of state to a sexually transmitted disease.”

    “Stein’s office replied with the following statement: “Whether or not these allegations are ultimately proven in a court of law, we hope that Congress will take decisive action to improve cybersecurity and protect our elections from potential threats, foreign or domestic – as we have been urging for over a year and a half.””


  9. Beaglemom July 19, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    I think that the whole country should go back to using paper ballots. They can be checked; they can be recounted. No one needs to know the outcome of a presidential election, or any other election for that matter, by 10:30 the evening of the election. The networks could dial back on the over-the-top sets that they create for the events, they could do without the fancy theme music and special effects too, and just report results. Had that happened in 2000, 2004 and 2016 we might have had different outcomes. Now we’ll never know.

    • Charlotte July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      I agree with you 100%, Beaglemom!

  10. Anonymous July 25, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    That certainly explains how Bush II stole the elections twice.

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