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Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hard to Win the "Soft War" With This Kind of Nonsense


Thanks to a patriot who brought this article to our attention re electronic voting machines and their susceptibility to hacking/manipulation. Read the whole thing, but here's a taste:

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...What the researchers discovered is pretty significant.

They found that the ES&S tabulation system and the voting machine firmware were rife with basic buffer overflow vulnerabilities that would allow an attacker to easily take control of the systems and "exercise complete control over the results reported by the entire county election system."

They also found serious security vulnerabilities involving the magnetically switched bidirectional infrared (IrDA) port on the front of the machines and the memory devices that are used to communicate with the machine through the port. With nothing more than a magnet and an infrared-enabled Palm Pilot or cell phone they could easily read and alter a memory device that is used to perform important functions on the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machine -- such as loading the ballot definition file and programming the machine to allow a voter to cast a ballot. They could also use a Palm Pilot to emulate the memory device and hack a voting machine through the infrared port (see the picture above right).

They found that a voter or poll worker with a Palm Pilot and no more than a minute's access to a voting machine could surreptitiously re-calibrate the touch-screen so that it would prevent voters from voting for specific candidates or cause the machine to secretly record a voter's vote for a different candidate than the one the voter chose. Access to the screen calibration function requires no password, and the attacker's actions, the researchers say, would be indistinguishable from the normal behavior of a voter in front of a machine or of a pollworker starting up a machine in the morning.

The attack they describe is significant because the researchers' description of how an intentionally miscalibrated machine would function -- that is, prevent a voter from voting for a certain candidate -- is precisely how some voters described the ES&S machines were acting in a controversial Florida election last year...
***


Please read the full article and its enclosed hyperlinks. That's re voting machines in Ohio.

Here's a similar story re Colorado.

Now consider what these discoveries mean for the value of your vote and the legitimacy of the electoral process.

Paper ballots with a carbon tear-off to be kept by the voter, anyone?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was involved in Electromagnetic Compatibility testing of Hart Intercivic, ES&S and a couple of other manufacturers of electronic voting machines, Hart Intercivic was even worse than ES&S. Rather than try to mitigate the problems, I was directed to "Just keep testing it until it passes". The Hart Intercivic machines are the worst of the worst and their corporate culture is to obfuscate problems rather than solve them.

December 20, 2007 at 1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truly worrisome stories and just symptomatic of where we are. Getting this fixed will be up to local folks and the state(s) in which they occur. The degree to which known problems with voting equipment gets fixed will be telltale as to how much tyranny the population chooses to accept or reject.

If the serfs swallow known problems and count on goobermint to fix things as they have been programmed to accept, the soft war will have ended and collectivism will have a toe hold that, sadly, will have to be broken the hard way.

Does this country have the stomach for breaking collectivism or will it wither into obscurity under the weight of burgeoning tyranny?

Dr. Paul is our last best hope to mitigate collectivism and buy time so others can wake up to how little liberty we have left.
-Bobcat

December 20, 2007 at 3:38 PM  

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