Thursday, September 14, 2006

E-Voting Problems

This fall I will be voting on an electronic machine for the first time. I've been concerned about the security of such machines for a while, and not just because Diebold's CEO personally gives me cause for concern. These machines can easily be hacked. Truth be told, everytime they are used there ends up being some problem.
Princeton University has compiled a study that concludes with some disturbing, yet unsurprising, results.
Analysis of the machine, in light of real election procedures, shows that it is vulnerable to extremely serious attacks. For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates. An attacker could also create malicious code that spreads automatically and silently from machine to machine during normal election activities — a voting-machine virus.

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