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How to Hack an Election
The NY Times ^ | 013104 | Editorial

Posted on 01/31/2004 4:49:34 AM PST by Archangelsk

How to Hack an Election

Concerned citizens have been warning that new electronic voting technology being rolled out nationwide can be used to steal elections. Now there is proof. When the State of Maryland hired a computer security firm to test its new machines, these paid hackers had little trouble casting multiple votes and taking over the machines' vote-recording mechanisms. The Maryland study shows convincingly that more security is needed for electronic voting, starting with voter-verified paper trails.

When Maryland decided to buy 16,000 AccuVote-TS voting machines, there was considerable opposition. Critics charged that the new touch-screen machines, which do not create a paper record of votes cast, were vulnerable to vote theft. The state commissioned a staged attack on the machines, in which computer-security experts would try to foil the safeguards and interfere with an election.

They were disturbingly successful. It was an "easy matter," they reported, to reprogram the access cards used by voters and vote multiple times. They were able to attach a keyboard to a voting terminal and change its vote count. And by exploiting a software flaw and using a modem, they were able to change votes from a remote location.

Critics of new voting technology are often accused of being alarmist, but this state-sponsored study contains vulnerabilities that seem almost too bad to be true. Maryland's 16,000 machines all have identical locks on two sensitive mechanisms, which can be opened by any one of 32,000 keys. The security team had no trouble making duplicates of the keys at local hardware stores, although that proved unnecessary since one team member picked the lock in "approximately 10 seconds."

Diebold, the machines' manufacturer, rushed to issue a self-congratulatory press release with the headline "Maryland Security Study Validates Diebold Election Systems Equipment for March Primary." The study's authors were shocked to see their findings spun so positively. Their report said that if flaws they identified were fixed, the machines could be used in Maryland's March 2 primary. But in the long run, they said, an extensive overhaul of the machines and at least a limited paper trail are necessary.

The Maryland study confirms concerns about electronic voting that are rapidly accumulating from actual elections. In Boone County, Ind., last fall, in a particularly colorful example of unreliability, an electronic system initially recorded more than 144,000 votes in an election with fewer than 19,000 registered voters, County Clerk Lisa Garofolo said. Given the growing body of evidence, it is clear that electronic voting machines cannot be trusted until more safeguards are in place.



TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: cheating; electionfraud; electronicvoting; fraud; hacking; votemachines; voterfraud; votingfraud
I can't say anything on this because my comments would be unprintable in this family forum.
1 posted on 01/31/2004 4:49:36 AM PST by Archangelsk
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To: Archangelsk
more security is needed for electronic voting, starting with voter-verified paper trails.

I don't even know what this means. Voter-verified paper trails? Will the voters be asked to verify these paper trails? That will stop voters who are bent on cheating?? Or do they mean "paper verification of voter registration"? That would seem to make more sense.

Also, if the solution to an electronic problem is more paper, then perhaps we should just go back to paper ballots (like they had in Florida). The NYT will like that, huh?

2 posted on 01/31/2004 5:01:14 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (I'm having an apotheosis of freaking desuetude)
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To: Archangelsk
COLOR at least some of us . . .

--OUTRAGED,
--UNSURPRISED,
--INCENSED,
--STILL DISILLUSIONED,
--ONTO EM,
--RANTING PERSISTENTLY,
--STORMING,
--FUMING,
--SCREAMING,
--TRYING HARD TO PULL WOOL OFF THE EYES OF THE MASSES,
--CALLING FOR SHRILLERY ET AL'S TRIALS AND CONVICTIONS,
--CALLING HYPORATS IDIOTS AT EVERY REASONABLE CHANCE . . .

. . .

sigh
3 posted on 01/31/2004 5:07:01 AM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Arguing symantics? How Clintonesque. Voter verified paper trails means the machine spits out a receipt which the voter keeps as a record of his/her vote. (I read somewhere that Diebold claimed the technology to do this is beyond them. This begs the question of how they make it happen with cash machines).
4 posted on 01/31/2004 5:09:56 AM PST by Archangelsk (One man with conviction is a majority.)
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To: Archangelsk; All
Cross-link:

-The Vote Fraud Archives--

5 posted on 01/31/2004 5:17:10 AM PST by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the TrackBall into the Sunset...)
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To: Archangelsk
The Al Gore Florida Election Fiasco---the gift that keeps on giving.
6 posted on 01/31/2004 5:21:33 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: Archangelsk
I prefer to think of this as "affirmative action" for voter fraud...

The illiterates have been committing vote fraud or years...Now vote fraud for the intelligent!

7 posted on 01/31/2004 5:53:52 AM PST by Onelifetogive
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To: Archangelsk
They were able to attach a keyboard to a voting terminal and change its vote count

Duh, ya think? Wonder if the poll workers would say anything to guy lugging in a keyboard and attaching it to a voting machine? Nah. At least not in Palm Beach County.

Physical security is part of securing the votes. It has broken down before (guy in Palm Beach county with a voting machine in his trunk) and it will break down again regardless if the voting machines have changed or not.

Until the penalties are made much more severe for vote fraud the Demorats will just continue to make a mockery of the process.

8 posted on 01/31/2004 6:02:29 AM PST by VeniVidiVici (There is nothing Democratic about the Democrat party.)
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To: Archangelsk; VeniVidiVici
And by exploiting a software flaw and using a modem, they were able to change votes from a remote location.
That's the one that really bothers me. :-(
9 posted on 01/31/2004 6:54:39 AM PST by Tunehead54 (Support Our Troops!)
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To: Archangelsk
Here's an article on the "Boone County, Ind. incident":

Voting machine glitch shows thousands of extra (130,000+!)votes

10 posted on 01/31/2004 7:06:30 AM PST by Tunehead54 (Support Our Troops!)
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To: sweetliberty
Computers are safe to use in elections --

(Hogwash PING!)

11 posted on 01/31/2004 7:22:46 AM PST by Budge ( <>< .)
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To: Archangelsk
The biggest watchdog site on this subject:

BlackBoxVoting.com

Bookmark it. I think that with all the new insecure and unauditable voting machines bought since election 2000, this will be the biggest vote fraud election in decades.

Diebold is not our friend. And the hacking nerds are very liberal types, more like Greenies than mere liberals. And they're competent coders and hackers.
12 posted on 01/31/2004 7:26:18 AM PST by George W. Bush (It's the Congress, stupid.)
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To: VeniVidiVici
Until the penalties are made much more severe for vote fraud ...

No, until the authorities start PROSACUTING those who commit voter fraud...

13 posted on 01/31/2004 7:29:41 AM PST by Budge ( <>< .)
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Freshly posted today on BlackBoxVoting:
Security measures urged for voting machines
Baltimore Sun

Results tallied by Maryland's 16,000 new electronic voting machines can be trusted in their first statewide test during the March 2 presidential primary, but only with some added security measures, a state official and a consultant told legislators yesterday.

Linda H. Lamone, the state's election administrator, said she is planning to use the tamper-proof tape, but told legislators she is concerned about the ramifications of some of the other suggested fixes.

But she said the security patches cannot be installed over the next 33 days. Other preparation work is being done on the machines and changing the software could interfere with that.

"We are risking a catastrophic failure," she said. "It doesn't seem to be worth it at this step of the game."

What she is saying, better to risk disenfranchising people's votes rather than apply security patches to close the holes.

Some of the attacks would mess up the official results while others would impact unofficial results, which could be remedied but would bring the machines into greater question in the court of public opinion.

You 're more secure buying a book from Amazon.com than you are uploading your results to the Diebold server," Wertheimer told the House panel.


14 posted on 01/31/2004 7:30:37 AM PST by George W. Bush (It's the Congress, stupid.)
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To: VeniVidiVici
>Wonder if the poll workers would say anything to guy lugging in a keyboard and attaching it to a voting machine?


15 posted on 01/31/2004 7:34:22 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: VeniVidiVici
Wonder if the poll workers would say anything to guy lugging in a keyboard and attaching it to a voting machine? Nah. At least not in Palm Beach County.

I think most of the vote fraud comes from corrupt poll workers. Close the polls, lock the doors, and add a few more votes for the dem candidate. It's essentially what they've been doing in places such as Detroit and Chicago for years. Now it's going to be even easier.

16 posted on 01/31/2004 7:37:21 AM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Archangelsk
I'll tell you how to hack an election.

Move to New Hampshire. When the 2000 primary comes, change your registration to Republican and vote for John McCain. Then for get to change your registration back to Democrat.

A full 15% of the Democrats who showed up for our primary this week asked for the Democrat ballot and were told that they were Republicans. They wrote in Howard Dean or John Kerry.

So now we know that 15% of the 2000 Republican primary voters were Democrats too stupid to change their registration back to Dem. I wonder how many more there were who voted for McCain and were smart enough to change back.

This puts a big question mark on the results of the Y2K Republican primary in NH.

Oddly, we have never seen this phenomenon in the Dem primaries here. Republicans, evidently aren't as dishonest as Dems.
17 posted on 01/31/2004 7:38:05 AM PST by Poser
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To: Archangelsk


The bigger story is yet to come. The NYT (as well as other liberal groups) has been attempting to tie Diebold with the Bush administration for some time (See NRO). Look for alot more manufactured scandals in the future.

The biggest fraud of the 2000 elections was the dimpled chad scam. No one ever managed to create a dimpled chad when they attempted to do so ( Brian Williams, Rush, etc. all tried on tv/radio and couldn't do it.) The only logical conclusion was that some people were trying to run multiple ballots through macines. But thanks to the hype, we now have computer voting which any idiot can see is more prone to mischief than any paper ballot system.
18 posted on 01/31/2004 8:19:20 AM PST by Cosmo (Liberalism is for Girls!)
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To: Archangelsk
I feel very confident in predicting a huge mess this fall in precincts where these "electronic" voting machines are used. This is gonna make Palm Beach County FL in Nov 2000 look like a walk in the park.

Sooner or later we're gonna have to rise up and do something substantial about this and other problems.

19 posted on 01/31/2004 8:59:13 AM PST by upchuck (Help Stop Animal Overpopulation - Spay/Neuter Your Pets and Any Weird Friends Too...)
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To: Archangelsk
Enemy Within BUMP!!!
20 posted on 01/31/2004 9:07:26 AM PST by Robert Drobot (God, family, country. All else is meaningless.)
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To: Cosmo
But thanks to the hype, we now have computer voting which any idiot can see is more prone to mischief than any paper ballot system.

I am intrigued by the ability to hack the system remotely. This is an opportunity for the amoral Libertarians! Instead of whining about not having enough money to "go against the big guys", just divert all of the campaign money into purchasing the best hackers money can buy. We could then have a Libertarian Upset in Novemenber! Heck, think about the house and one third of the senate changing through the miracle of electronic voting.

21 posted on 01/31/2004 9:10:54 AM PST by Dr Warmoose
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To: Archangelsk
"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."
--Russian Dictator Joseph Stalin
22 posted on 01/31/2004 9:16:34 AM PST by Robert Drobot (God, family, country. All else is meaningless.)
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To: Dr Warmoose
I see black helicopters in your future. Might wanna destroy your harddrive:)
23 posted on 01/31/2004 10:43:40 AM PST by Cosmo (Liberalism is for Girls!)
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