Leaked voting machine BIOS passwords implicate Q-friendly county clerk

Enlarge / Sensitive BIOS passwords leaked by QAnon figure Ron Watkins have been linked to a Colorado County office run by a clerk who promotes “Stop the Steal” messaging. (credit: JJ Gouin / Getty Images)

Last week, Ron Watkins—conspiracy theorist, QAnon enthusiast, and former 8chan site admin—released photocopies of an installation manual for Dominion voting machines. The copied pages gave basic instructions for configuring BIOS passwords (necessary to change some system settings) and iDRAC, a standard network remote control tool (which the manual explicitly requires the administrator to disable).

The next day, Watkins released a video purporting to be from a “whistleblower” exposing Dominion’s “most egregious lie”—that Dominion can remotely administer the machines, he said. He also released several screenshots of Election Management Systems hardware his “whistleblower” had access to.

Although none of Watkins’ screenshots—which will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s ever administered enterprise-grade hardware—are as damning to the voting machines as Watkins would clearly like, they did end up causing problems for one of Watkins’ fellow travelers: county clerk Tina Peters of Mesa County, Colorado, whose office manages the machines in question.

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