back to article FBI called in to investigate 2018 Mountain State mobile voting system hacking

The state of West Virginia says someone attempted to hack its citizens' votes during the 2018 mid-term elections. A statement issued this week by US Attorney Mike Stuart of the Southern District of West Virginia revealed that the FBI has been called in and is actively investigating at least one attempt to tamper with election …

  1. Imhotep

    Welcome to the monkey house

    Am I reading correctly that a Mobile App was used for actually casting a ballot?

    How is this insanity allowed?

    1. Mephistro

      Re: Welcome to the monkey house

      Because it could prove useful if one day the plebs started showing a tendency to unforgivingness regarding politicians and their peccadilloes (incompetence, corruption, bigotry, lies and the rest) by, e.g., not voting for politicians that have committed/perpetrated them.

      This decission provides said politicians with a B plan.

      1. Chairman of the Bored

        Re: Welcome to the monkey house

        A haiku for you then:

        Why elect this man?

        Sex, money, mountains of blow

        Vicarious joy

    2. Mayday


      "According to the US attorney, the unknown hacker, only referred to as an 'outside party' tried (and failed) to get access to the mobile voting system the state used for military service members stationed overseas."

      Doesnt appear to be an app but a system used for a specific use case - Defenc(s)e members posted overseas. So not on a phone but probably a shipping container with a satellite dish on the roof.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mobile

        Do you download shipping containers often?

        1. Halfmad
          IT Angle

          Re: Mobile

          You get more RAM by just downloading a whole shipping container of it. I mean shesh, basic IT ! /s

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to the monkey house

      As I understand it, it was only used to allow overseas military personnel to vote. Not sure why using absentee ballots was considered a worse solution than this though.

    4. GnuTzu

      Re: Welcome to the monkey house

      Consumerist mentality among those doing acquisitions has come to dominate virtually all work environments.

      So many are simply addicted to installing apps, running down to the office store or Amazon, Fry's, etc. to buy a shrink-wrapped network solution--as if a home WiFi router belonged in an enterprise environment, and such.

      And, they have no idea what it takes to do a security review in enterprise-level change management process. So, being utterly ignorant of the existence of change management and security-review processes, they simply never ask if they need permission--and they get indignant when they get discovered and have their stupidity blocked from and ripped out of the network.

    5. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Welcome to the monkey house

      How is this insanity allowed?

      Because proving 'our chosen system of democracy is working perfectly', through having people seen to vote, is more important than who is voted for or that voting may in fact be compromised.

      That's why web site, email, SMS, ATM, and even TV 'Red Button' voting have all been proposed. It's a numbers game.

  2. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Gospodin Putin has always cast Longing Dark Eyes on West Virginia's Coal Stocks

    It must have been the Russians ! Must have been !

    And Trump treasonously colluded with them ! Impeachment now ! Biden/Hillary 2020 ! End the Madness ! KGB-Trained Trump has been a Russian Asset since 1987 !

    1. James O'Shea

      Re: Gospodin Putin has always cast Longing Dark Eyes on West Virginia's Coal Stocks

      The only thing that Putin casts longing eyes on is Big Macintosh.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gospodin Putin has always cast Longing Dark Eyes on West Virginia's Coal Stocks

      haha, I agree with that, although I expect the exclamation marks indicate that you're joking. I'd like to see Sanders/Warren, Warren/Sanders or either of those two and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

      1. Robert Helpmann??

        Re: Gospodin Putin has always cast Longing Dark Eyes on West Virginia's Coal Stocks

        I'd like to see Sanders/Warren, Warren/Sanders or either of those two and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

        When did El Reg become a forum to discuss oddly specific fantasies? Takes all types, I suppose.

  3. Mark 85

    So it took them a year to figure this out and then finally call in the "big guns"?

    1. Blazde Silver badge

      Uhh guuys, 's been a whole one year now and we still han't gotten the back of this ere damn votin machine thiin. Now a knows Gill said she be back with a-uh screwdriier but I'm havin some serious doubts that she ever comin back from uh mateurnity leave? So I'm just puttin this out ere, uh don't overreac or nothin, maybe it's time to ask the Feds if they know anythin about uh-ah hackiin?

      1. Aussie Doc

        My screen-to-voice app sounded like Billy Connolly reading that.

        Have one on the house since I sprayed most of mine on my keyboard. --->

  4. Rich 11 Silver badge


    "The reliability of our election system and the sanctity of every vote is something we should never have to question," said Stuart.

    Then why the hell do you keep using such bizarre methods of casting votes, so many of them with known problems? Is the country so divided that no-one trusts anyone to tally ballot papers by hand?

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: Gah!

      They use machines because they don't trust the _voters_ to vote properly.

    2. Ian 55

      Re: Gah!

      The result HAS to be known very quickly! Counting paper ballots would be FAR too slow (and mean various friendly and only SLIGHTLY incompetent suppliers do not get rich!)

      It's not as if there's an enormous gap between, say, the vote for the president and the winner taking office...

  5. hammarbtyp

    Sales Opportunity

    Time to sell them my new unhackable voting system

    (P)efectly (A)ccountable (P)olling (E)nhanced (R)egister

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Move along now. Nothing to see

    Since the 'hanging chads' debacle in Florida, the voting systems used in the USA have been shown to be NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE.

    They keep on trying to make them secure but the companies making them really have no reason to so do beyond a cursorary glance. There is far too much money riding on the [cough][cough] right result even when it comes to electing the local 'dog catcher'.

    The USA gets the best politicians that money can buy but only if their voting systems are equally corrupt so as to ensure the result that money wants.

  7. DontFeedTheTrolls

    And in other news, a bear has been found in the woods...

  8. Claptrap314 Silver badge


    That name tells me everything I need to know about the trustworthiness of the system.

    Which I already knew anyway.

    1. Wexford

      Re: Voatz

      I'm surprised it wasn't named Voatr, to be honest.

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