According to the BBC News report, scientists from Michigan University, US, have claimed that they have found ways to hack the Indian EVM machines.
A video posted online showed the scientists at the US university supposedly manipulating voting results on an electronic voting machine (EVM) via mobile text messages after attaching a home-made device to the machine, a BBC News report said.
“We made an imitation display board that looks almost exactly like the real display in the machines. But underneath some of the components of the board, we hide a microprocessor and a Bluetooth radio,” Professor J Alex Halderman, who led this project to hack EVMs, told BBC.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) had recently announced the Assembly poll dates for five states, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, and Telangana. The ECI even announced that VVPAT-enabled electronic voting machines will be used during these polls. Already the VVPAT machines were under controversy as many instances of failure were reported during its use in the previous elections, now the US hackers claiming about the EVM machines being hacked by the scientists raise a question on its security features and trustworthiness.
Indian EVMs are considered to be one of the most tamperproof voting machines in the world. The device has no software to tamper with, and the votes cast are stored on purpose-built computer chips. The claim by the US scientists is yet to be verified, whether they hacked the EVM used by ECI or using other EVM machines similar to the Indian EVM’s.
The researchers, however, claimed that the paper and wax seals used to maintain the integrity of the EVM can be easily duplicated.
While replying to the claim Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla told BBC, “Before the elections take place, the machine is set in the presence of the candidates and their representatives. These people are allowed to put their seal on the machine, and nobody can open the machine without breaking the seals.”
In the upcoming 2019 general elections, VVPAT machines will be enabled with the electronic voting machine (EVM), however, use of VVPAT can help ECI to crosscheck the votes cast. ECI has denied the chances of EVM machines getting hacked.