Oddly enough, you have to know how to break into a computer like a criminal to get a job exposing flaws in existing computer setups. This is a skill best used for good instead of evil. Of course, the people who do this kind of thing are valuable because without them, we might have an electronic voting system promote a fictional lecherous beer swilling robot elected to run the Washington State School Board.
Well this is exactly what could have happened. Some students and their professor were asked to look over the school board’s voting system, and while they did find a minor exploit, the biggest flaw in the system was user error. The username and password were easily guessed (User:admin Pass:admin). Once in the freshly hacked voting system, they altered the ballots to have votes for legitimate candidates turn out to be votes for fictional characters they thought up on the spot. Among them were SkyNet and Futurama’s Bender. After a set of tests, it turned out that Bender won.
It wasn’t until this testing that their little prank was discovered. This part is the icing on the cake. In the testing phase, each test vote completed with a thank you message that simply read “Owned” while playing the University of Michigan’s fight song. After inspection and test runs, another quality control team declared the system secure, but in the feedback they were puzzled by the University of Michigan fight song and recommended removing it which prompted a closer look.
That was what set you off? Confirming you voted for Bender or Skynet wasn’t the issue, or that instead of “Thank you” the computer boasted you were “Owned”?
But this is why we test things. Like bombs.