The IowaReporterApp, which had coding errors that caused significant delays in results of the Iowa caucuses being released, was vulnerable to hacking. According to ProPublica, vote totals, passwords, and other sensitive information in the app could have been intercepted or changed due to a lack of safeguards. While there is no evidence that hackers intercepted or meddled with the caucus results, a hack could have been possible and been easier to pull off had a precinct worker logged onto the app using a public WiFi hotspot. The Department of Homeland Security reportedly offered to help test the app, but the Iowa Democratic Party didn’t take the agency up on the offer. The state party referred questions about the app’s vulnerabilities to app maker Shadow Inc. and said all of the “electoral data and results have been exported from the application and are in the process of being verified through the paper record.”
Shadow Inc.’s CEO, Gerard Niemira, said the app underwent “multiple, rigorous tests by a third party” but said that “sometimes vulnerabilities are discovered” after software is released. Niemira underscored that the “the integrity of the vote in Iowa was not compromised in any way” and the app is not currently in use anywhere else.