Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, January 30, 2004 9:42 pm

You know those really secure Diebold electronic voting machines?

Filed under: Black-box voting — Lex @ 9:42 pm

Not so much, actually:

For a week, the computer whizzes laid abuse – both high- and low-tech – on the six new briefcase-sized electronic voting machines sent over by the state.One guy picked the locks protecting the internal printers and memory cards. Another figured out how to vote more than once – and get away with it. Still another launched a dial-up attack, using his modem to slither through an electronic hole in the State Board of Elections software. Once inside, he could easily change vote totals that come in on Election Day.

“My guess is we’ve only scratched the surface,” said Michael A. Wertheimer, who spent 21 years as a cryptologic mathematician at the National Security Agency.

He is now a director at RABA Technologies in Columbia, the firm that the state hired for about $75,000 to look at Maryland’s new touch-screen voting machines scheduled to be unveiled in nearly every precinct in Maryland for the March 2 primary. …

Wertheimer said it would take nearly a complete rewrite of the computer code to fix the machines’ flaws. …

Diebold “basically had no interest in putting actual security in this system,” said Paul Franceus, one of the consultants. “It’s not like they did it wrong. It’s like they didn’t bother.”

Which, you know is nothing except what Bev and David and a lot of other people have been saying for more than a year.

(The consultants’ full report is here, by the way.)

Buy the book. The only thing you have to lose is your democracy.

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