Hackers Break into Website of E-voting Machines Supplier

A portion of the Website of Sequoia, provider of e-voting machines for the New Jersey election, got attacked in a hacking attempt during the night of March 20, 2008. However, on realizing the problem, the company took down the site and cleaned it of the intrusive material.

The "Ballot Blog" section of Sequoia's site showed no substance till the afternoon of March 20, 2008. All that appeared were messages announcing that the page had been compromised.

Computer scientist Ed Felten was the first to notice the hack and he has been requested to investigate the discrepancies by the voting machines in the primary election of the state. InfoWorld published this in news on March 20, 2008.

Felten wrote in e-mail that the Ballot Blog, in which Sequoia provided a detailed explanation of the problem in New Jersey, has been substituted for a message declaring that someone hacked into it. The message also mentioned the names of those behind the hack. But Felten wrote that he couldn't recollect the name except that it comprised of numbers and lower-case letters.

A scrutiny is on over Sequoia for incorrect voting tallies produced from about 60 Sequoia e-voting machines in the state during the February 2008 election. On March 19, 2008, a team of representatives on behalf of clerks from six counties of New Jersey wrote to Anne Milgram, Attorney General of the State, requesting her to probe into the problems.

Meanwhile, Sequoia insisted that the discrepancy was because of an error by a poll worker and that the issue could be corrected by using software for update. Still, the state clerks' group requested for a third-party probe. It also warned that it would lawfully act against Felten, saying a review by him would be a deviation from the licensing agreement of the company, so Felten should not conduct his investigation.

As Sequoia investigates the source of the hack, it has made the necessary security enhancements for protecting the Website from future attacks. The site was resumed to normal functioning on the afternoon of March 20, 2008, according to Sequoia spokeswoman Michelle Shafer, as per InfoWorld.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

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