31 Aug 2018

Earlier this month, following the events of this year’s 2018 DefCon hacking conference in Las Vegas, Wesh 2 News visited the Data Analyzers headquarters in central Florida to interview Founder and CEO, Andrew von Ramin Mapp. The Defcon Conference is highly prestigious and draws famous hackers from across the globe to showcase their skills and share techniques with growing minds.

In his interview, Mr. von Ramin Mapp discussed the possible realities of hacking and what an event like this could indicate. His expertise was backed by Defcon organizer, Jake Braun and Elections Supervisor, Mike Ertel.

This year’s conference took place from August 9th through the 12th and featured a replica of the Florida state election system, which was successfully hacked by 11-year-old Emmet Brewer. The challenge he participated in was called “DEFCON Voting Machine Hacking Village”. This event enabled young, aspiring hackers to tamper with voting results and outcomes. Another attempt at the Hacking Village revealed that an 11-year-old girl was able to hack the Florida voting system again and even faster, in just under 15 minutes.

The co-founder of r00tz, where many of these prodigy hackers came from, assured that the replicas are extremely accurate and hack-able replicas of these voting systems may show that the original voting systems could also be as easily hacked.

However, Primary Election Day came and went here in the state of Florida on August 29th and there was no hacking to be reported. This hacking event at the DefCon Conference was executed with the purpose of finding out where a state voting system might have room for improvement.  The hope is that in the future, hacking associations and the state government can work together to know for certain that all systems are as secure as possible.