The election could have been rigged against Hillary Clinton, some experts said. And activists are now launching campaigns to control those votes.
It is not yet clear how this hack would have taken place, so as to ensure that Donald Trump wins the vote, should it happen. But one of the experts consulting the Democrats laid out a possible scenario of how this hack could have happened – and why it would have gone unnoticed.
J Alex Halderman, professor at the University of Michigan, wrote about how it could have happened that a state or other hackers got into the electoral process and let it switch to Donald Trump. If such a scenario were to occur, it would represent one of the most significant cyberattacks in history and could bring the entire presidential election into disrepute.
“First of all, the attackers would probe polling stations well in advance to find ways to break into their computers,” he wrote. “Closer to the election, while it was clear from the poll data which states would have narrow electoral margins, attackers could spread malware into voting machines in some of those states, rigging the machines to shift a few percent of the vote in favor of their candidate.
“This malware would likely be designed to sit idle during pre-election testing, do its dirty business during the election, and then fade away when the polls close. The work of a skilled attacker might leave no visible signs – well that the country may be surprised when results in several nearby states were excluded from pre-election polls. “
Professor Halderman made it clear that this was just one way the election could be hacked and it could have happened in different ways. But he said it would make sense for someone to attempt such an attack – even if it looks like it would be noticed and likely foiled.
He cited the example of the Democratic National Committee email account hack as well as that of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, both of which led to personal emails being leaked. He also pointed to the clear hacking of voter registration systems as an example of how people have already sought to interfere with the conduct of the election.
In these hacking attempts, officials blamed Russian hackers. It appears that the people of the country have computer weapons sophisticated enough to find their way into the voting systems.
Even before the elections, fears were widespread that it would be easy to hack the voting machines that were being used and. Edward Snowden shared a video just before the election which showed hackers breaking into a voting machine using only a £ 24 memory card.
Professor Halderman wrote that the odd results were probably not a consequence of the cyberattack, and were likely a consequence of the survey data being flawed. But he nonetheless urged people in battlefield states that may have been hacked – critical places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – to demand an urgent recount so that the paper votes can be counted and the chance that the election was rigged can be verified.