Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hacking Diebold

According to a May 19 article on the InfoWorld website, by one Robert X. Cringely, it is about as difficult to hack into a Diebold voting machine as it is to steal the prize out of a Cracker Jack box.

Yes, that's very comforting to know, now that fully half of the states will be using electronic voting this year. Blackbox Voting has a full report on the liabilities inherent in using the machines, and it's not a pretty sight.

The machines are easily exploited by using "back door" entries that are -- get this -- a feature of the machines, installed in the software to allow easier upgrading.

So anyone with a half a degree in computer tech can, if they know what they are doing, hack into any Diebold machine and install a routine to, say, count five Republican votes for every four Democratic votes. Nothing blatant, no red flags, no flashing lights, just a few extra votes on the side that "deserves" to win. Unplug the machine and the count vanishes into the ether. No muss, no fuss and no Republicans left on base.

"What they’re proposing as a vulnerability is actually a functionality of the system," spokesman David Bear said, predictably. "Instead of recognizing the advantages of the technology, we keep ringing up 'what if' scenarios that serve no purpose other than to confuse and in some instances frighten voters."

Well. How about that. I say we ought to be frightened, and not let these smarmy snake-oil salesmen charm us into relinquishing contro of our voting system.

Optically scanned paper ballots. That's the only way to go, and I urge everyone to contact your state voting officials and let them know that using these infernal machines is an unacceptable method of counting our votes.

4 Comments:

drainbamage said...

OMG
OMG
OMG

Anonymous said...

Get your facts straight you moron.

Farnsworth68 said...

I just love how these anonymous sock puppets drop in to say hello.
What facts, what is straight, and YOU are calling me a moron?
Come back when you're not hiding behind a mask, when you don't have your mother's nylons pulled down over your face, and we'll engage in a dialog.
Yeah, fat chance of that ever happening.

noneck said...

I'm a system admin and have been following the progress on the Diebold machines as well. Princeton University in 2006, released the 'Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine.' The results are sickening. CHeck out the links below. So for 'Anonymous' can we count these as facts?
http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/
http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/25/hacking-e-voting-machines-can-be-hard-diebold-shows-you-how/
http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/29/california-white-hat-hackers-3-diebold-and-friends-0/