The Lazy Genius

Security News & Brain Dumps from Xavier Ashe, a Bit9 Client Partner

Flip a switch, hack the Vote

Posted by Xavier Ashe on August 2, 2006

It's no secret that Diebold's electronic voting gear is, um, a little lax in the security department,
and now a non-profit group known as the Open Voting Foundation has
found “what may be the worst security flaw we have [ever] seen in touch
screen voting machines” in the company's older TS model. Apparently
these devices — which produce no paper record of voters' choices —
contain a switch on the internal motherboard (pictured here, with
handy onboard instructions) that would allow nefarious hackers to
toggle between the two pre-installed boot profiles and “change
literally everything regarding how the machine works and counts votes.”
Even worse, the board also sports a slot for external flash memory from
which a third profile could be “field-added in minutes,” allowing
unsavory characters to overwrite certified files with their own data
before switching the machine back to its unaltered state — with no one
the wiser. It looks like Diebold has two options for addressing this
nagging problem: either they can open up their machines and source code
to a thorough external audit and adopt the resulting suggestions (unlikely),
or they can take the simpler route and just get their friends in
Washington make it illegal for rabble-rousers like the Open Voting
Foundation to play with their toys.

From Engadget.

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