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After MIT Discover Vulnerabilities, Medici Ventures Defends Blockchain Voting App Voatz

Jonathan Johnson, CEO of Overstock and president of Medici Ventures, has issued a statement supporting blockchain in voting in response to the expertise’s vulnerabilities claims printed on Feb. 13.

Rising applied sciences acquired within the crosshairs of regulators when a cell software program utility that had been devised to assist calculate the full variety of votes within the current Iowa Democratic caucus reportedly malfunctioned, ensuing within the Democratic Get together having to delay its public reporting of final Monday’s outcomes.

However does blockchain actually fail in the case of elections?

Following the Iowa caucus scandal, blockchain-based voting apps fell underneath scrutiny, which resulted in a Massachusetts Institute of Know-how’s safety analysis of Voatz, the self-styled first Web voting utility utilized in United States federal elections. 

The researchers claimed that they’d discovered vulnerabilities in Voatz that allow “completely different sorts of adversaries to change, cease, or expose a person’s vote, together with a sidechannel assault by which a very passive community adversary can doubtlessly get well a person’s secret poll.” 

As such, the authors of the evaluation concluded that the app just isn’t safe, including that “our findings function a concrete illustration of the frequent knowledge in opposition to Web voting, and of the significance of transparency to the legitimacy of elections.”

Within the meantime, Voatz carried out its personal analysis by means of the CISA Hunt and Incident Response Group (HIRT) to find out if there was proof of focused malicious exercise within the app’s community. HIRT concluded:

“HIRT analysts didn’t detect menace actor behaviors or artifacts of previous actions on the in-scope parts of the Voatz networks. HIRT recognized some areas the place defense-in-depth protections and configurations might be improved to assist Voatz’s IT safety personnel defend their enterprise community. HIRT commends Voatz for his or her proactive measures in the usage of canaries, bug bounties, Shodan alerts, and energetic inner scanning and crimson teaming.”

Tech discussions run to extremes

In his Feb. 13 assertion, Johnson backed Voatz, saying that it prevents voting fraud and safeguards the privateness of every voter. He outlined that current speculations round expertise in elections had run to extremes turning to an anti-technology and anti-learning stance. Johnson mentioned:

“I firmly consider this undermines American progress. This false premise is shutting down our pursuit of piloting, testing and creating applied sciences that not solely mitigate dangers, however makes voting accessible for populations who can not bodily get to the polls.”

Earlier in February, one other main blockchain-powered voting agency, Votem, pointed out that it’s nonetheless not utterly clear what perform the app offered for the Iowa Caucus. Pete Martin, CEO of Votem, mentioned in an e mail to Cointelegraph:

“Our evaluation is that this was not really cell voting the place a verifiably authenticated voter is casting a verifiable and auditable digital encrypted poll that’s shuffled and publicly tallied. The Caucus is exclusive in that the voter’s id is understood, however normally the voters id is separated from their poll to guard their id, all of which we element in our “Proof of Vote” protocol.”


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Thanks !

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