Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Stealing an election just got a whole lot easier

The Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University has published an analysis of the Diebold voting machine used by about ten percent of all U.S. voters. The independent study states:

1. Malicious software running on a single voting machine can steal votes with little if any risk of detection. The malicious software can modify all of the records, audit logs, and counters kept by the voting machine, so that even careful forensic examination of these records will find nothing amiss. We have constructed demonstration software that carries out this vote-stealing attack.
2. Anyone who has physical access to a voting machine, or to a memory card that will later be inserted into a machine, can install said malicious software using a simple method that takes as little as one minute. In practice, poll workers and others often have unsupervised access to the machines.
3. AccuVote-TS machines are susceptible to voting-machine viruses — computer viruses that can spread malicious software automatically and invisibly from machine to machine during normal pre- and post-election activity. We have constructed a demonstration virus that spreads in this way, installing our demonstration vote-stealing program on every machine it infects.
4. While some of these problems can be eliminated by improving Diebold's software, others cannot be remedied without replacing the machines' hardware. Changes to election procedures would also be required to ensure security.


Find the entire study here.

Apparently, stealing an election will no longer require using the governor of Florida and the Supreme Court.

4 comments:

The Doctor said...

In your opinion what is the fairest voting method? Do you like the current mail-in voting systme we use now?

The Doctor said...

So I can't spell.

The Doctor said...

So I can't spell.

Eric said...

Most importantly, I think a voting system needs to have physical records so that votes can be recounted. So, in this case, I think that our state voting system is good.