Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine

Voting systems hacked in test
The successful invasions will be weighed in state's security review.

Teams of computer hackers participating in a first-of-its-kind experiment in California have succeeded in breaking into all three electronic voting machines they targeted.

The systems were invaded in ways ranging from altering votes via a laptop computer to physically breaking into an electronic ballot box with small, concealable tools, the hackers reported to the state Friday.
The hackers reported successful invasions that could "alter vote totals, violate the privacy of individual voters, make systems unavailable, and delete audit trails."

But Stephen Weir, head of the state association of county registrars, said the hacking was not an accurate portrayal of risk because researchers were given extensive access to the voting machines and their proprietary codes.
Counties routinely lock up their voting machines to prevent sabotage, keep detailed access records, employ camera surveillance and conduct extensive testing to ensure accuracy, Weir said.
OK, first, if you can delete evidence that the machine was hacked (audit trails) then the hack would be undetectable. Second, Weir is just plain wrong when he claims voting machines are 'locked up':
Practices such as allowing poll workers to take the voting machines home have been widely criticized, Durfee said.
Regarding precinct workers taking home the machines, Horn added: “The poll workers are not felons. They're volunteers, and we need every one we can get.”
So they let 'volunteers' take the machines home. Maybe they aren't felons ... yet. That's hardly election security, but it is a good way to elect Republicans.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak