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Fri Apr 22, 2016, 02:51 PM

How to Hack an Election

Andrés Sepúlveda rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. He tells his story for the first time.

By Jordan Robertson, Michael Riley, and Andrew Willis | March 31, 2016
Photographs by Juan Arredondo
From Bloomberg Businessweek


It was just before midnight when Enrique Peña Nieto declared victory as the newly elected president of Mexico. Peña Nieto was a lawyer and a millionaire, from a family of mayors and governors. His wife was a telenovela star. He beamed as he was showered with red, green, and white confetti at the Mexico City headquarters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which had ruled for more than 70 years before being forced out in 2000. Returning the party to power on that night in July 2012, Peña Nieto vowed to tame drug violence, fight corruption, and open a more transparent era in Mexican politics.

Two thousand miles away, in an apartment in Bogotá’s upscale Chicó Navarra neighborhood, Andrés Sepúlveda sat before six computer screens. Sepúlveda is Colombian, bricklike, with a shaved head, goatee, and a tattoo of a QR code containing an encryption key on the back of his head. On his nape are the words “</head>” and “<body>” stacked atop each other, dark riffs on coding. He was watching a live feed of Peña Nieto’s victory party, waiting for an official declaration of the results.

When Peña Nieto won, Sepúlveda began destroying evidence. He drilled holes in flash drives, hard drives, and cell phones, fried their circuits in a microwave, then broke them to shards with a hammer. He shredded documents and flushed them down the toilet and erased servers in Russia and Ukraine rented anonymously with Bitcoins. He was dismantling what he says was a secret history of one of the dirtiest Latin American campaigns in recent memory.


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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply How to Hack an Election (Original post)
berniepdx420 Apr 2016 OP
brooklynite Apr 2016 #1
peace13 Apr 2016 #2
brooklynite Apr 2016 #3
peace13 Apr 2016 #4

Response to berniepdx420 (Original post)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 02:57 PM

1. My issue with allegations of hacking US elections is more practical...

...First, NO ELECTED OFFICIAL, CANDIDATE, PARTY LEADER or CAMPAIGN MANAGER that I've talk to (and I know a lot), including those who have lost elections, attribute the lost to voting machine hacks.

...Second, the conspiracy involved would involve dozens if not hundreds of people: politicians, business executives, engineers, programmers, etc. ALL of which have kept quiet for over 10 years.

..Third, if you assume voting machines are hackable in sufficient quantity to make a difference, you would expect to see a favor ability pattern. Instead, you have three wins for the Republcians (2004, 2010, 2014) and three wins for the Democrats (2006, 2008, 2012).

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 03:07 PM

2. SOS Jennifer Brunner deemed Ohio's computers easily hackable.


She only stayed in the position a short while and did not resolve the problem before resigning to run for another office.

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Response to peace13 (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 03:38 PM

3. HackABLE is not the same as HackED...

...and my contacts in Ohio are particularly good. The former Party Chair doesn't think it happened. A former US Congressman who lost in 2010 doesn't think it happened.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 22, 2016, 04:13 PM

4. The dead guy in the airplane...not so much.


It really doesn't matter what we say here.

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