Bender.jpgLast week  J. Alex Halderman co-presented a paper explaining how he and a team of graduate students tested the Washington D.C. school board’s electronic absentee ballot system by hacking into it, flooding it with votes for the hard-drinking cartoon character known as Bender from the TV show Futurama and embedding the system with an audio clip of the University of Michigan fight song.

The hack, done at the invitation of the school board, “brought the city’s brief dalliance with internet voting to an ignominious halt,” The Washington Post reports.

Halderman, who earned his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from Princeton in computer science, is now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. The paper was presented in Bonaire at the Financial and Cryptography and Data Security Conference.

More detailed media coverage can be found on Gizmodo, Geekosystem, The Register,  io9, The Escapist, and Techdirt. Halderman’s full academic paper can be found here.

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