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Def Con Conference to Scrutinize Election Websites with the Help of Child Hackers


WIRED has reported that at the conference of Def Con hacker next week, a contest has been organized for the child hackers to hack replicas of the state government websites. The contest is being co-sponsored by the DNC (Democratic National Committee). All the child hackers will be aged between eight and 16. The replica websites that are to be hacked in the contest are those which the secretaries of state will be using for posting the post election outcome. DNC will award an amount of $500 to the kid who will propose best defensive strategy. Prize money of $2,000 has been announced to be given to the child hacker who will successfully break a website's defenses. The event is also being sponsored by r00tz Asylum, a non-profit organization, along with University of Chicago.


Raffi Krikorian, chief technology officer of DNC, says that the idea to come together with Def Con has been inspired from an event that took place during the Voting Village conference last year. The event hosted demanded the attendees to hack various voting machines models and find the flaws. Krikorian also tells WIRED that - "we wanted to figure out how we could use this to our advantage. Let's get those lessons back to secretaries of state."


WIRED has been told by Raffi Krikorian that this kind of hacking is "seriously low-hanging fruit," however the DNC are frequently getting queries from the local election officials on how to safeguard their voter databases and websites. The DNC normally ask them to follow the basic steps, such as using the two-factor authentication and changing of passwords, to protect the databases and websites, as posted on August 2, 2018, by engadget.com.


The aim behind the contest to hack replicas of the state government websites by the child hackers is to bring awareness on election security among the election officials. WIRED further reported that many of the local election officials are planning to participate in the Voting Village event - where the adults are asked to try hacking the voting machines. The invitations for the event have already been sent to Republican National Committee, but they are yet to send their consent.

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