L.A. Officials Watch Hackers Try to Bust Their Voting Machines

Los Angeles County computer specialists headed to one of the world’s largest hacker conventions over the weekend to watch cyber experts try to hack their voting machines. It’s all part of an effort to expose flaws in the system as they work to revamp voting in Los Angeles County -- part of a $15 million project that began several years ago.

The DefCon visit comes at a critical moment for voter security throughout the United States. Reports about Russia’s actions during the 2016 election grow more disturbing by the day and security officials are “very, very worried” about hackers’ ongoing efforts to tamper with U.S. voting systems, said Barbara Simons, who heads nonprofit election-security advocacy group Verified Voting.

Those fears are unlikely to be allayed after Friday when it reportedly took hackers at the convention’s “Voter Village” less than two hours to breach U.S. voting software. The event’s organizers say the contest exposed glaring flaws within the system that could easily be exploited by foreign adversaries or criminals inside the U.S.