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Hackers Were Meddling With Chicago’s Election Website

The Chicago city suspects a security flaw in the city's election Web site that hackers could use to steal Social Security numbers and personal information of nearly 1.3 million voters, said authorities. The 'Chicago Board of Elections' has been running the website for six years. The site has let a simple hacking program to access the private data of a million registered voters. The case is under investigation.

The Web site is designed to provide voters their registration status. But till October 21, 2006 the site has been enabling identity theft of data to steal funds from credit card accounts; apply for mortgage; or even make an arrest record in someone else's name.

The discoverer of the flaw was Peter Zelchenko, a member of "Illinois Ballot Integrity Project" and also a computer expert. Zelchenko brought the problem to the notice of the Board on October 20, 2006.

According to the officials, the security flaw had so far not imposed any risk on the integrity of election records. But it is now necessary to find out if anyone took advantage of the opportunity to commit theft of Social Security number and birth dates of almost 780,000 registered voters in Chicago.

Although the Board does not have any evidence of theft but as per Tom Leach, spokesman for the 'Chicago Board of Election Commissioners' it wants to ensure safety of all the voters' personal data. Bob Wilson, an officer at the 'Illinois Ballot Integrity Project' said that there could have been a serious problem of identity theft, which could cause problems with the election as well. The hacker could have meddled with voters' registration data such as inactivate some of them or alter the voters' polling place besides accessing Social Security numbers, names, birth dates and home addresses.

Leach, however, said that the theft had no link with the city's electronic voting machines, which are produced by 'Sequoia Voting Systems'. But in Wilson's counter opinion the loophole is just one such in the electronic voting program that may eventually take up in full proportion in the computerized voter databases and electronic voting machines.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

» SPAMfighter News - 10/28/2006

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