Academics from MIT’s computer science laboratory have published a security audit today of Voatz, a mobile app used for online voting during the 2018 US midterm elections and scheduled to be used again in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. From a report: MIT academics claim they identified bugs that could allow hackers to “alter, stop, or expose how an individual user has voted.” “We additionally find that Voatz has a number of privacy issues stemming from their use of third party services for crucial app functionality,” the research team said in a technical paper released today. “Our findings serve as a concrete illustration of the common wisdom against Internet voting, and of the importance of transparency to the legitimacy of elections,” researchers added. MIT academics urge states to continue using paper ballots rather than mobile apps that transmit votes over the internet. They say the current paper ballot voting system is designed to be transparent, and allow citizens and political parties to observe the voting process. “Voatz’s app and infrastructure were completely closed-source,” said James Koppel, one of the MIT academics.
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