Feeds

Diebold voting machine hack exposed

Switch toggle tampering

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.