Feeds

Diebold voting machine hack exposed

Switch toggle tampering

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Much has been written (in these pages and elsewhere) about the shortcomings of Diebold's electronic voting technology, but researchers at the Open Voting Foundation have come up with what they argue is the most serious flaw in electronic voting technology yet documented.

Open Voting found that by toggling a single switch it's possible to get Diebold's AccuVote TS touchscreen voting machine to boot from an unverified external flash drive instead of the device's built-in firmware, which is stored on an EPROM chip.

In fairness, exploiting this shortcoming would require physically opening up the machine and a certain amount of hardware and programming skills, but that's hardly an insurmountable barrier to a sufficiently motivated hacker.

Open Voting Foundation reckons the problem is compounded by a failure to create a voter-audited paper trail during elections tallied by the machine.

"Diebold has made the testing and certification process practically irrelevant," said Open Voting Foundation president, Alan Dechert. "If you have access to these machines and you want to rig an election, anything is possible with the Diebold TS - and it could be done without leaving a trace. All you need is a screwdriver."

Newer TSx series voting machines can only contain one boot profile at a time, but it's far easier to circumvent controls and overwrite files stored in older TS machines, according to Open Voting.

"These findings underscore the need for open testing and certification. There is no way such a security vulnerability should be allowed. These systems should be recalled," he added. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.