The most dangerous voting machines in America are retired

After more than a decade of use and dozens of reported security problems, the Virginia Board of Elections voted to decommission the last of the 3,000 WINVote touchscreen voting machines being used in the state. The machines have experienced issues including crashes and shutdowns, votes being eliminated for no reason, an unsecured WiFi network and unpatched software. And yet, despite persistent reports of problems over the past decade, and similar voting systems being banned from Pennsylvania in 2007 and Mississippi in 2013, Virginia only began examining the flaws in the system after Governor Terry McAuliffe experienced issues first-hand while attempting to use one last November.

Researchers from the Virginia Information Technology Agency found earlier this year that while the communications between machines was encrypted, the WiFi system on them used a WEP wireless protocol (the least secure protocol) with a password of "abcde." Also disturbing: Even when the wireless function on the machines was disabled, the network card was still able to send and receive traffic.

If that wasn't enough, the investigators also found that the machines were running on a 2002 version of Windows XP that hadn't been patched since 2005. A scan of the system showed the machines were therefore vulnerable to at least 18 known software vulnerabilities (and of which could have provided an open doorway for an attack). Other issues include the administrative password to the machines ("admin") and the Microsoft Access database which stored votes (unencrypted and required no authentication to make changes).