Guest “I hope so” by David Middleton
This is fracking hilarious…
How electric vehicles could be used to hack the 2020 election
By Justin Rohrlich December 11, 2019
When former CIA director James Woolsey said in 2017 that he was “confident the Russians will be back, and that they will take what they have learned last year to attempt to inflict even more damage in future elections,” he was referring primarily to cyberattacks against electronic voting machines and voter registration databases.
That same year, professor J. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan testified before the US Senate Intelligence Committee that the results of simulated cyberattacks on American voting machines were decidedly bleak.
Now, according to Yury Dvorkin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, there’s another possibility to worry about: electric cars.
A successful election attack doesn’t need to gain access to voting systems themselves. Dvorkin says plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and the charging stations that charge their batteries could enable large-scale cyberattacks on urban power grids. In a simulation he and his team conducted using Manhattan, Dvorkin found that it would take only 1,000 electric vehicles charging simultaneously to stage an attack on the city’s power grid, potentially blacking out entire sections of New York.
In the context of election security, Dvorkin told Quartz that such attacks could cause power outages in districts a political opponent might want to flip, making it impossible—or at least extremely difficult—for people who live within those boundaries to vote. Streetlights would be affected, causing traffic jams. Subways would be inoperable, and communications networks could go dark. Electronic voting machines would be useless without electricity, shutting down polling stations.
“Based on available statistics, urban populations tend to favor a certain political party,” Dvorkin said. “If on election day there is a blackout in the city, it means that this vote is going to be suppressed. And even if you take a fairly blue state such as New York, where people living in rural areas also often vote for a certain party, suppressing the urban vote may turn the state from blue to red.”
The “I hope so” comment was sarcastic… But… Wouldn’t be a hoot if 1,000 greenies charging their Tesla’s in Manhattan flipped New York State from blue to red? It’s good to know that EV’s might actually serve a useful purpose.
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