Feeds

US issues revised e-voting standards

Stringent recommendations for testing

Website security in corporate America

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) delivered an update on Monday to the United States' electronic voting standards, adding more requirements to test systems for accuracy and reliability and additional rules to make paper audit trails easier to review.

The draft revision, known as the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) version 1.1, adds more stringent recommendations for testing and auditing as well as requirements that election software and updates be digitally signed and improved ease-of-use for poll workers. The US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announced on Monday that the draft revision will be available for public comment for the next 120 days.

"The guidelines announced today are designed to further improve the quality and efficiency of the testing conducted on voting systems," John Wack, NIST voting team manager, said in a statement. "This enables improvements to be made sooner rather than later when the next full set of standards is finalized."

Election systems have come under scrutiny following errors that have led to lost votes and software glitches that have shutdown machines on voting day. In 2007, an election system failure may have resulted in a loss for the Democratic challenger in a contest for one of Florida's seats in the US House of Representatives, when the configuration of the electronic ballot likely resulted in a large number of people in a Democratic-leaning county failing to vote. In midterm elections the prior year, many states took extra security precautions after researchers found that Diebold's election systems contained a serious flaw.

States rushed to adopt electronic voting machines following the close election in 2000, which saw hanging chads and a Supreme Court challenge to the result. Yet, while some voting-machine makers pushed touchscreen machines that had almost no checks on the integrity of the systems, computer-security experts have called for voter-verifiable and machine-independent methods of recounting the vote. A major issue with most electronic voting machines is that there is no way to do a software-independent audit of the election results.

The EAC established the first version of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines in 2005. More than 1,000 comments were submitted to the initial version of the guidelines.

This article originally appeared in SecurityFocus.

Copyright © 2009, a href="http://www.securityfocus.com/">SecurityFocus

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.