Eleven-year-old Emmett Brewer made a splash on social media after he and 30 other children aged from eight to 16 managed to bypass the security measures of a Florida voting site replica during a DEFCON hackathon contest. Websites representing voting information, as well as voting stations' defenses against cyberintrusion, failed to stop young hackers as they altered the results, deleted voting data and added new votes, such as "Bob Da Builder" and "Richard Nixon's Head."
And though both the voting stations and websites were just good replicas, the results of the hackathon lit a fire under netizens. Many of them were shaken, realizing how vulnerable US voting systems can be, with lots of people urging the government to fix the situation.
Congress Do Something— HawkEye 2018💥 (@2HawkEye2018) August 14, 2018
If an 11-year-old boy can fake voting results by hacking into an exact replica of Florida’s state election website in just 10 minutes, (according to the reps of DEF CON 26, hacker convention) we're screwed, unless you do somethinghttps://t.co/x4unby6Pwm pic.twitter.com/TW7LRcl2vv
Why can't we, the USA, stop this sh*t from happening? Aren't *we* supposed to be the high tech geniuses of the world?— pj sully (@pjsully2) August 12, 2018
We are so screwed.— Roundtowngirl (@Rountowngirl1) August 12, 2018
Nothing to discuss.— Jake Tapper's Minecraft Mug (@LaBellDebi) August 12, 2018
We are fucked.
A lot of Twitter users indulged in snark at the expense of not only voting systems' protection, but also the mass media narrative regarding the menace of phantom Russian hackers.
Don't worry—our federal and state governments have assured us that, while the Russians have highly trained and experienced military hackers who desperately want to break into our electoral systems, there's no way they did in 2016 what this 11 year-old did. https://t.co/xPIluJH026— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) August 13, 2018
I guess we don't really need to bother with voting then.— Laurie Leigh (@LaurieLeigh8) August 12, 2018
Trump: "See? I told you it wasn't Russia. Now lock her up. See if we have any more cages left."— Percy The Imp (@ImpPercyPtible) August 13, 2018
But no worry, federal & state governments assure the Russians highly trained, experienced military hackers (who desperately want to break into our electoral systems)— Peace_Out_PO (@Peace_Out_PO) August 13, 2018
didn't do in 2016 what this 11 year-old kid did. 😅🤣😄😃😂😁😆
Although some Twitter users take the MSM narrative on Russian hackers more seriously.
I know they want us to believe votes weren’t changed and will call folks cynical and conspiracy theorists who are saying that but come the fuck on. If an 11 year old can do that in 10 min, imagine what lifelong Russian hackers did to us #maddow— Indyana Jones (@indyanajones18) August 14, 2018
#unhackthevote— MikeFarb (@mikefarb1) August 12, 2018
A 11 year old girl hacked a mock up of a State Voter Registration Web Site in 10 minutes!! Russia with the best Hackers in the World gas been on these sites for 3 years!! Where do you think they got? Did they get all the way to Washington? https://t.co/OmqhnnzM58
Many Twitter comments also contained calls for returning to the paper ballots system.
Machines are hackable attached to internet or not, software in machines can be accessed Remotely. #HandmarkedPaperBallots and back-up voter registration books at every Precinct Election day is the only way to combat Hacking. Paper is 100% auditable &handcounts can be done…— SV Taylor (@sharonvt75) August 12, 2018
Yikes. Paper ballots?— I Meant “Wouldn’t” McIntosh 🇨🇦 (@Mcatlady54) August 12, 2018
Paper Ballots for all. And Hire them to make sure no other hackers get through.— MP (@Myrnoproud1) August 12, 2018
Paper.— Jamie Schler (@lifesafeast) August 12, 2018