Wednesday, September 13, 2006

hacking diebold

Computer Scientists at Princeton released the results of the first-ever independent assessment of Diebold voting machines today.

And the news ain’t good.

In a Salon story today, Brad Friedman writes:
“The study reveals that a computer virus can be implanted on an electronic voting machine that, in turn, could result in votes flipped for opposing candidates. According to the study, a vote for George Washington could be easily converted to a vote for Benedict Arnold, and neither the voter, nor the election officials administering the election, would ever know what happened. The virus could also be written to spread from one machine to the next and the malfeasance would likely never be discovered, the scientists said.”

Friedman is one of the founders of VelvetRevolution, the umbrella organization of more than 100 election integrity groups that “acquired” the Diebold system and handed it over to Princeton researchers.

The study was released along with a videotape demonstration. Marty Kaplan at The Huffington Post posted his own demonstration How to Hack a Diebold Voting Machine.

In the past Diebold has not been very eager to hear criticism of its products. Perhaps because, as Swarthmore Students discovered in 2003 when they uncovered internal Diebold memos, Diebold is well aware of security problems with their machines. The company tried to sue the students for posting the memos on the Web, but the students won the suit with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. You can read the details here, and more about e-voting and election fraud here.

What’s next? Diebold vs. Princeton?

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