A Summary of Konnech Products and the Threats Posed Against the United States
An in-depth look into the vulnerable technologies, applications and partners Konnech utilizes in it's enterprise that are all connected to the global internet—and by inference, exploitable by the CCP.
Konnech Inc has various products deployed within the U.S. Election Systems and abroad. Some products have to do with oversea voting under UOCAVA provisions, and other products help disabled voters vote without going to a polling location. These products are often connected to the internet via smartphone applications utilizing cloud services that connect to the hardware. Konnech has deployed phone applications for over a decade while most of the public was still learning how to use their smartphones. Konnech has contracts with countless counties all over the United States, deploying their products to this day.
Konnech has many products that connect to the internet, but we will focus on PollChief, an Election Worker Management System (EMS). PollChief helps manage the poll workers, polling locations, campaigns, assets, mail-in ballots, and supplies necessary to run elections in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The Smart Phone Application first surfaced in Hillsborough County, FL, on September 29, 2011.
Konnech offered many products in their early days before entering the Election world, including automated voicemail systems within school districts to notify parents of weather delays and language learning tools to help teach children and foreign exchange students. One city, in particular, has always given Konnech a shot.
The City of Detroit has long advocated for Konnech products from the beginning. IBM purchased ten telephone systems with voice mail features from Konnech’ for Detroit Public Schools in 2002, and in 2004 Konnech began polling surveys for the City of Detroit. The Detroit Public School system also expanded its use of the SchoolBrief (an app web portal to 16 of their 250 schools in 2006. This expanded pilot project covers three high schools, five middle schools, and eight elementary schools. This information regarding their products is available on archived versions of Konnech’s website. I will detail the connections between Konnech and the City of Detroit at another time.
Who gave the green light for Konnech’s ABVote? Detroit.
The original smartphone app that was deployed was named the “UOCAVA M” app created by Konnech and was released on July 4th, 2013, supported by The City of Detroit, Michigan, years prior.
”UOCAVA M” became ABVote, a Web & Mobile Application designed for voters to register to vote, apply for absentee ballots, and locate candidate/polling information.
The City of Detroit advocated that Konnech’s AbVote Product, “Since Michigan requests our UOCAVA voters to have their signatures on all of their submissions, the voters still have to print the web downloaded forms, sign them, scan them, and mail or email them back. For most of our UOCAVA voters, this is a major challenge. Detroit plans to use the EASE add-on of Konnech’s Mobile App to overcome this problem.”
“Our proposed Mobile App will allow voters who have a Smartphone like an iPhone or Android-powered phone to mark, sign, and return the documents on their Smartphones instead of using EASE voter interfaces through their computers. Our city staff will use the same EASE login to manage the Smartphone and online users.”
This previous slide also shows at the bottom that Konnech applied via Electronic Absentee System for Elections (EASE) for funding from the FVAP.
One of the voices pushing for Konnech was Rep. Vince Gregory (D) to help oversea voters gain easier access. Michigan House Bill 5279 was to streamline absentee voting for overseas Military personnel and passed on 2.10.2010.
The DoD grant was approved for 5.4 million dollars worth of funding.
Now that we have established Konnech is DoD funded, let’s go through some of the features PollChief offers to the Super Administrators and the Election Workers.
Using Pollchief, an Election Worker can receive text messages and GPS coordinates from a Super Administrator down to a specific longitude and latitude via geofencing; this is done through a product called XORA, owned by Verizon and utilized on Konnech’s EMS system as a Field Force Manager.
Field Force Manager is a workforce management solution that encompasses everything from mobile timesheets and barcode scanning to remote scheduling and geofencing. It provides the visibility needed to drive efficiency in the field and the data required to streamline processes for all types of organizations.
XORA initially filed for the Patent and was approved, later assigned to ClickSoftware INC, which has close ties with China.
Clicksoftware handled telecommunications for the 2008 Beijing Olympics assisting the China Netcom Group Corporation (CNC).
Konnech’s Field Force Manager can create a geofence when tracking Election Workers in the field. The Web Portal allows a user to configure custom geographic regions that could range over an entire state.
Using Konnech’s Field Force Manager, a Super Administrator has access to the whereabouts of any Election Worker utilizing the app. A Workers Map can show a street view of an Election Worker's location at a given time.
Geo-tuning can help Election Workers find a particular location if the GPS is unsuitable. The Field Force Manager can zero in on specific latitude and longitude coordinates for more accurate geo-tuning.
The Workers Map Konnech features deploy a life pattern to be guided and tracked. A Super Administrator can assign a sequential route to an Election Worker.
PollChief has a complete log of all election workers in a selected area. Election Workers can be categorized and then allocated according to race, sex, party affiliation, language, and age to suit the needs of a Super Administrator. Workers are also graded according to previous performances.
The Field Force Manager used in Konnech is now owned by SalesForce, which was acquired in 2019. SalesForce was teamed up with Alibaba, which supports and receives funding from the CCP.
"Alibaba will become the exclusive provider of Salesforce to customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and Salesforce will become the exclusive enterprise CRM product suite sold by Alibaba."
I want to highlight this specific feature that Konnech offers PollChief (which manages the Election System).
PollChief has some advantageous features to connect its products to the internet. A detailed technical diagram below shows devices at polling locations need only to be connected to the internet, and Konnech will provide the backend structure of servers and hosting. The diagram below also shows data flow from smartphones, laptops, and tablets to the Microsoft Cloud.
Konnech states in many of their documents over the years, Konnech utilizes Microsoft SQL as its database. However, in counties like Tarrant County, Election officials have terminated further discussions with Konnech because Microsoft SQL is not involved with their processes; instead, Konnech would provide their own seen below.
Konnech has made it clear they would be utilizing Microsoft Azure Cloud Solutions in the RFP response but also made it clear that hosting would be done from their own data center/co-location facility. So which one is it?
I will walk you through Konnech-related data that landed in the U.S. from port 443/TCP, the IP address change that happened in the middle, and where the data was stored before the transfer.
Below are some of the domains Konnech has owned in the past. Please note the time and date, port information, and the data's designated country.
Image 2 below indicates an IP change in China coming from the same port (433/TCP) just 26 minutes before landing in the United States.
This final photo proves the data landed on the China UNICOM Backbone (The Chinese Internet) during this IP change.
China owns anything that touches the Chinese Internet.
I purposefully showed these last three slides in reverse to show how the data ended up back in the US, transitioning IP addresses in China, where the data resolved according to the sequence of graphics above.
In conclusion, the DoD-funded company “Konnech” has an untold number of vulnerabilities in its Election Management System, which has been used in thousands of counties across the United States. Products within this system are often connected to the internet, tracking data of all sorts down to a specific geolocation. These apps are invasive. Konnech collected Personal Identifiable Information (PII) on poll workers (names, addresses, patterns of life, etc.) and products like XORA, ClickSoftware, and Field Force Manager strongly connected to China. I showed through Binary Edge that China had transferred data from the Chinese UNICOM Backbone to associated Konnech domains in the United States. Personally Identifiable Information may have been leaked by Konnech as President Eugene Yu was arrested yesterday in connection with the Theft of Personal Data. This data was sent back to the United States through Konnech-related domains on different IP addresses coming from the same port in China. Once again, any data that touches the Chinese Internet is owned by The Chinese Government.
This should terrify you, especially when you read Konnech’s Privacy and Security Statement regarding a product named K-Alert (a product used in schools where our children may attend) where Konnech reserves the right to share Personally Identifiable Information with their “partners, parent, subsidiary and affiliate companies, entities into which our company may be merged, or entities to which any of our assets, products, sites or operations may be transferred, will be able to use personal information.”
I will show you next time Konnech’s subsidiaries and affiliate companies directly link to China.
This is a significant threat to National Security and should be treated SERIOUSLY.
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