How to Hack Election Results for Dummies

How to Hack an Election (bloomberg.com) <— click here to read an article from 2016.

Today’s topic:  Hacking election results for Dummies!!

I’m about to tread into very deep, shark infested waters, but I just can’t help myself because. . . well . . . that’s what I do.  (snarky smile) 

The majority of the herd might think that election results in the United States of America can never be hacked, but in today’s technological world with money flowing through the wallets and purses of the pathetic elite, that’s just not true.

Click the link above to read the article from Bloomberg.com posted in 2016, and you might think differently; but there are a number of you who, after reading the article from the link above, will still refuse to believe that elections in the United States of America can be hacked or manipulated. 

Well… Kudos to you! Because you are more than likely wearing multiple sets of rose-colored glasses to help you stumble through a pathetic life of blissful ignorance. 

However, and quite personally, I don’t believe there has been a legitimate U.S. presidential election since 1996, furthermore, I don’t believe there’s been a legit federal election in the USA since 1992, and my reason for this belief is attributed to…

  1.  All my years (20+) working in the computer and technology industry.

    2.  Because the major political parties in the USA (democrat and republicans) have enough money and supporters to manipulate and buy any election in any state at any time.

Now, let me state for the record, I am not taking sides on the issue of election fraud.  I am, however, saying that it is possible and quite probable that election results could be hacked and changed considering how much money flows through these parties and how easily technology can be manipulated.

After all, the money that flows in and out of politics in America is beyond comprehension.  In 2020 alone it was estimated that over $3.8 billion had been raised — Not spent!  RAISED! — by both the Republican and Democratic parties combined for the presidential election.  Consequently, over $3 billion of that money was actually spent for the 2020 presidential election alone.  (ref: https://www.opensecrets.org/parties/)

Furthermore, since 1998, over $59 billion has been spent by a long list of presidential candidates, congressional candidates, political parties and independent interest groups all trying to influence federal elections.  (ref: https://www.opensecrets.org/elections-overview/cost-of-election?cycle=2020&display=T&infl=N)

And that’s just the money that was reported, but let’s not forget that there are A LOT of die-hard political people in this country who support one particular party or another, and a number of them have money that can be used for “illicit persuasions”(wink, wink — if you catch my drift)– that never gets reported.

What’s more, and even though it’s purely speculation on my part, it would not surprise me if some money might have been used to help sway an election in various parts of the country over the years, and with the use of computers it would not be unheard of to pay some pathetic nerd to manipulate election results in favor of one party or another.    

Speaking of computers, I feel that it’s necessary for me to once again mention that I’ve spent 20 plus years working in the computer industry doing everything from networking to hardware support to server operations to programming.  So, I’m not some whack-a-doodle who doesn’t understand technology.  I actually know it pretty well.

I also mention my background in computers because you need to understand that I’m adept at knowing how easy it is for a computers to be hacked and manipulated.  All it takes is someone who knows how to change program code and someone else to hack the network and install the changes on a PC or server.  It’s really not as difficult as you might think and it happens every day.  

Accordingly, every state in the USA has an election office and those offices have created a specific format for each election’s ballot, and in the majority of states those ballots are not hand counted.

Since the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 required replacing older lever and punch card voting machines, jurisdictions across the country primarily use two types of technology for tabulating votes: optical (or digital) scanners to count paper ballots or Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) machines for counting votes by disabled persons.  (reference:  https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voting-equipment.aspx)

The electronic scanners are used in most states to quickly tally the votes for each candidate by scanning paper ballots; therefore, election offices all over the country have purchased scanners for each county in their respective state.

In addition to the scanners, these election offices also purchased software along with computers and servers that are all connected to secure networks to tabulate the votes and send the results to a central office, typically the Secretary of State in most cases. (feel free to google the term: “Ballot counting software” and see how many results come back for companies that offer their services and software.)

I should also mention that the computers, servers and networks are “secure” and hidden behind a firewall, but don’t be deceived, these items are not impenetrable. 

Therefore, corrupt people in the USA might stoop to obtain resources (computer programmers and professional hackers) to hack the network, servers, computers and/or software to change the outcome of the election results in specific counties for any given state of the union.

Additionally, using multiple Virtual Private Networks (VPN) the corrupt hackers and programmers can hide or spoof their internet protocol address (IP address), which is assigned to every device that connects to the internets, and they could make it appear as if they were operating from a foreign country to hack the election results.  

The sad reality is that if done by experienced programmers and hackers who know how to hide their identities and cover their tracks, they could easily make it look as though things happened in a foreign country all the while it was taking place right in the heart of the United States of America.

Having said all that, and although elaborate in design, here’s one possible scenario that could have been devised and implemented to hack a presidential election using money, resources and computers within the borders of the USA.

(Note:  What you are about to read is just an example…I am not saying this actually happened!!  Furthermore, this would have taken a few years to plan, coordinate and implement; but presidential elections are every four years . . . sooo, if there are enough resources, that’s actually plenty of time to implement election fraud, hacking or tampering.) 

The initial phase:  Planning and Strategizing!  

  1.  Directly after an election, have party workers begin investigating which States would be the primary targets for winning the next Presidential election.  In the case of a U.S. presidential election this would need to be states that would allow for the correct amount of electoral college votes to be won.
  2.  Have party workers research every county in the “key battleground states” and decide which ones are more likely needed for a victory over the whole state.(Not every county needs to be won to win the electoral college votes of an entire state, so they would only need to focus on the counties that will guarantee a victory.)
  3.  Start taking straw polls and spending small amounts of legit campaign money in those states and counties needed to win.
  4.  Speak with some major contributors of the party and have them seek out and hire computer programmers and hackers who would be paid under the table.(The “party” could be either Dem or Repub…nothing is out of play here.)
  5.  Have the programmers and hackers understand that they must use Virtual Private Networks (VPN) at all times and must conceal their identities when online because this is a matter of national security.  (Hiding behind a Virtual Private Network (VPN) the hackers and programmers can make it look as though they are working in another country, even though, they are working from inside the USA.)
  6.  Do not allow the hackers or programmers to use a messenger service that can be tracked.  Have them create a secure messenger service to be used primarily by them that cannot be tracked or recorded.  (trust me…this is not as elaborate as it seems.  There are a lot of messenger services on the dark web that you don’t know exist and are used by hackers all the time.)

 

Phase Two:  Research, Creating a Software “UPDATE” & Hacking!

  1.  The hackers and programmers can research and gather information regarding what software, scanners and computers are being used at each county office for ballot scanning.  This would be pretty simple since the same software and devices are typically used in every county of a given state.  This is due in part to the state having one format and layout for the ballot that voters use. (One would think this is private information on the software and scanners, but it’s not.  The general public can request the names of any commodities and/or services that have been purchased and are currently being used by government offices in the USA and government offices have to provide the information as full-disclosure.  The majority of U.S. States have a law that allows for this.)  
  2.  Once the hackers and programmers know the software and hardware being used, they can request a copy of the software be purchased for the programmers and hackers to start creating an “update” for the software that will change the election results in specific counties.
  3.  Have the hackers and programmers create an “update” for the software that would change the amount of votes for the specific candidate of the party when ballots are scanned and tabulated.  To work around “pre-election testing phases” a time-stamp would be entered in the code to activate the changes of the software at a specific date and time.  — for example: “activate @15:59 on 11-04-2020 and end @ 01:00 on 12-15-2020.”(Note: the vote count changes could be done a number of ways, but here’s one example: Program the software so Candidate #1 would get a higher percentage of a vote when counted (105%, 110% and so on…), but a vote for Candidate #2 would tabulate as a lesser percentage… like .95, .90 or even less based on how much is needed to guarantee a victory for Candidate #1 in a specific county.  The percentages would need to be relatively close to throw off any suspicions of fraudulent activity.)
  4.  The program could also be set to “expire” after a specific amount of time and be set to auto-delete.  (I know…it sounds far-fetched, but it’s not.  I know very experienced computer programmers who have written code that will auto-delete software after a specified amount of time, so I know it can be done.) 
  5.  Have the hackers work on hacking into the firewalls and gaining access to the election office computers and servers in the states and counties needed to win the election.

 

Phase Three:  Testing – Hacking and Installing the “update”

  1.  The “update” will be tested by randomly choosing a local election in one of the states needed to win the next Presidential election.  The program will be time-stamped to activate only during a specific time when the ballots are being counted for the local election.
  2.  Have the programmers package the “update” and give it to the hackers for installation on servers and/or computers at the specific county election offices. 
  3.  Hiding behind multiple VPN’s, the hackers hack into state firewalls and computers being used at the election offices in the counties that are being targeted and install the “update” to the ballot counting software.
  4.  Programmers and hackers wait to see if the election results are in line with the changes they made to the “update”. 
  5.  If the results fall in line with their expectations, they can wait for another election in the same state or another state to repeat the test. 
  6.  Once satisfied with the results of the “update”, have the hackers & programmers wait to install the software until the Presidential primary elections are complete. 

 

Phase Four: Implementation, “Key Battle Ground States”

  1.  Draw the attention of the media to the fact that the states needed to win the Presidential election are “key battleground states”.
  2.  A couple years before the election, start spending legit campaign money in those states.
  3.  Once the primary is complete, have the hackers install the “update” on the specific computers and servers in each of the election offices where ballots will be counted. — Since the software is time-stamped to only work during a specific time after the general election, pre-testing shouldn’t be a problem.
  4.  Have a number of party main-liners start making accusations about election fraud by the opposing party and interference by a foreign country.  – This will draw attention to the matter, but will remove your party from speculation.
  5.  Wait for the election results to start coming in and watch as the states needed to win the electoral college votes turn the color of your party.  
  6.  Have a big celebration for an illegitimate victory. 

 

Phase Five: Diversion – Raising Speculation & Holding Investigations

  1.  Once the election results are in and your party has won, have the party main-liners continue complaining about “election tampering” and exclaim that they will, and I quote, “form a coalition to investigate election tampering, interference and fraud by the opposing party and foreign sources.”  
  2.  Since the hackers were inside the USA but using multiple virtual private networks (VPN’s) to appear as if a foreign country was tampering with the election computers and servers, have party main-liners accuse a foreign country…(cough–Russia–cough)for election tampering and spend millions of taxpayer dollars on needless investigations to prove the foreign country…(cough! . . . Russia . . . cough!)was at faultBecause hey!  Russia will always be a good scapegoat, and everyone knows that money grows on trees in the USA.  (and by “trees” I mean hundreds of millions of U.S. tax payers.)
  3.  Create mock investigations into election tampering and provide massive contributions to large technology corporations hidden within legislation to provide “evidence” that falls in line with the findings of the investigations.
  4.  Hold multiple, yet expensive, congressional hearings to make the naïve in the herd believe that the party is legit and would never stoop to the levels of the other party.
  5.  Have the big technology giants “get on board” with the findings and have them start implementing more stringent policies for who can access their sites, who can advertise on their sites and when their sites can be accessed by foreign nationals.  

So, there ya have it!  One scenario that sounds really far-fetched, out of reach and completely impossible…but with the right resources and influence, it’s very probable.  

I’ve worked in government and I’ve worked in the technology field long enough to know that if there’s enough resources in place, any election in any part of these United States of America can be manipulated.

Many of you reading this might scoff at this and say there’s no way any election official would allow this to happen under their watch.  And that’s possibly true, but let me throw this back at you…

Election officials aren’t tech savvy and they rely heavily on the technicians working for their respective states to provide security and the backbone for the devices they use.  And even those technology people working for each respective state don’t always have the resources needed to prevent something like this from happening.  Therefore, under their watch election officials would never know a hack or breach happened until it was too late. 

Besides, without anyone noticing, hackers actively gain access to computers and servers and install malicious software on devices in large businesses all the time.  They use multiple virtual private networks to make it look like they are working from another country, all the while, they are sitting in their mothers basement on Main Street, USA in complete anonymity.  And what’s more is that these private businesses have way more advanced and sophisticated cyber security than state and local governments. 

So, it’s pathetic to think that state and local governments are more secure than a private business.  It’s also pathetic to think election fraud couldn’t happen by people on our own soil for selfish ambitions.  

That’s really all I have to say on the matter, so I’ll leave you with this final thought. . .

– – –  

If the United States government is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, and that government becomes corrupt, isn’t it just an extension of the character of its population? 

Something to consider.

 –

Perhaps it’s the calm before the storm?

Today, while sitting in the driveway staring up into a clear blue sky, I couldn’t help but wonder; “Is this the calm before a storm?”

I hope there is no storm, but deep down I sense that there’s a war coming.  One so great that no one will be able to avoid it or hide from it.

But what do I know?

Back to the Basics – Trust and Obey

Sunday mornings in the early 1980’s.  

A small, white church where parents would hurry 15 or 20 kids into a musty, little room with lime green shag carpet and walls painted to match.

Each kid taking his or her place on the chairs that were lined up in rows and waiting for the Sunday school teacher to begin playing the old, upright piano that looked and sounded like it came right out of a wild-west saloon.

That piano was so out of tune.

Nonetheless, it provided the melody for the many songs we kids would belt out every Sunday morning.

One such song was titled, “Trust and Obey” which happens to be the reason for the title of this post.  If you’re curious, we little kids only sang the refrain which goes something like this:  “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way!  To be happy in Jesus….you should trust and obey!”

I’d sing it for you, but well. . . it’s a written blog, and I don’t do audio, so I attached a video of Chelsea Moon and the Franz Brothers for your enjoyment.    

The lyrics of the refrain are pretty simple, but they have to be.  After all…little kids don’t need complex lyrics.  They need simple…easy to understand lyrics.  Something they can wrap their little minds around.  So, the simple poetic words of trust and obey, for there’s no other way just works. 

Trust and Obey — that’s all — and you’ll find happiness in Jesus.  Easy peasy.

Sadly, adults are not like children.  Adults like to make things difficult and instead of just trusting and obeying Jesus, they tend to stray into the complex and try to devise plans that will only bring unhappiness, misery and pain.

It’s not easy for adults to have a mind and faith like a child. 

We adults have so many things to fret and worry over that we must put away the child-like mentality and be more “adult”.  So, we hide our child-like thoughts just like the apostle Paul writes: 

“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” (First Corinthians 13:11)

But maybe, quite possibly, we adults should adopt the child-like behavior again. I’m not saying we should reason like a child or speak like a child.  But I am saying we should stop trying to make everything so confusing and complicated. 

It would simplify things in our lives.  You know, make things a little easier and a lot less painful?

The other day I was strolling through a park and witnessed a mom with her toddler.  As they were walking along, the toddler suddenly stopped, leaned down and pointed at something on the ground. 

As I passed by, I overheard the toddler exclaim with delight, “Look mom!  Bugs!” 

Just a few ants – the smallest of creatures – amazed this little child, and it was in that moment I realized how precious we humans are to God because Almighty God sees each person on this earth like a little toddler.

Naïve, dependent creatures that are full of curiosity at the smallest of things.

Like little children we should trust Him and obey Him.  

Even Jesus reminds us that:  “…unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

And again, He says: “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14)

There’s a lot that I could expound on from those verses, but I’ll leave that for another time. 

For now, I have to ask . . . have you noticed that adults do a really bang up job of making life difficult?

They conspire together.  Rail against one another.  Devise plans to abolish God’s law.  Try to justify their bad behavior, and in doing so they create laws that “allow” them to continue doing what they know in their heart and mind is wrong, and then they give hearty approval to teach the generations that follow to do the very same thing. 

I find it strange how adults do these things without ever consulting God.  Rather, they consult their feelings and indulge in their deceitful, selfish, fleshly lusts that lead to immature thoughts and behaviors. 

So disappointing.  Yet, it’s all in accordance with making life difficult for not only our current state, but for the many generations that follow. 

We adults would be wise to cease striving and wait on God.  To consult the Almighty and request His opinion before mandating anything or making any foolish plans.  But as I said…humans WOULD be wise to do that, but they won’t.  

Therefore, the resulting disciplines come.  Nation against nation.  People against people.  Natural disasters.  Financial distress and ruin.  Political strife.  Wars.  Infections and disease.  — It’s all quite avoidable, if humans would just go back to the basics.

Trust and obey.

So simple. 

So basic. 

Yet, so pathetically difficult for us adults to learn.  (and yes, I include myself.)