Monday, July 31, 2006

WORST EVER SECURITY FLAW FOUND IN DIEBOLD TS VOTING MACHINE

The Open Voting Foundation, an entity recently created to facilitate a broader range of activities by our long-time friends at the Open Voting Consortium, today announced the discovery of what amounts to an A/B switch in Diebold TS machines. That is, inside the machine, there is a toggle function that can put the machine in a mode completely foreign to the performance expectations created in the certified version of the equipment. The entire press release is on the OVF home page (without a permalink) and here is the intro:

OPEN VOTING FOUNDATION
9560 Windrose Lane
Granite Bay, CA 95746
Phone (916) 295-0415
alan@openvoting.org

PRESS RELEASE -- JULY 31, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- "This may be the worst security flaw we have seen in touch screen voting machines," says Open Voting Foundation president, Alan Dechert. Upon examining the inner workings of one of the most popular paperless touch screen voting machines used in public elections in the United States, it has been determined that with the flip of a single switch inside, the machine can behave in a completely different manner compared to the tested and certified version.

"Diebold has made the testing and certification process practically irrelevant," according to 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." This model does not produce a voter verified paper trail so there is no way to check if the voter's choices are accurately reflected in the tabulation.


This and other photos available at
http://www.openvotingfoundation.org/ts/
Shown in the lower left of this image (more toward the center when opened in larger size) is a grid painted directly on the mother board "with instructions for swapping from one bootloader to another," according to BlackBoxVoting.org. BBV and computer security expert Harri Hursti have previously released reports identifying "the worst voting system security issue to date" and today posted these comments on the OVF findings.

It is nothing but adding insult to injury at this point. There needs to be a full product recall to get these machines off the market. If you are in a county using this equipment, the people who run your elections department have only one way to be responsible to the community. If they continue to deny the problems, and defend this equipment, they must be pressured to resign. Even if your county doesn't use these machines, but your state allows it, your state Attorney General should be implored to bring your Secretary of State to justice. And as for the folks at Diebold, are their crimes not treasonous?

More later tonight on the San Diego scene where today ace election attorney Paul Lehto filed suit for a hand count of ballots in the CA-50 race. For a teaser, listen to Paul (.mp3) on the Ed Schultz radio show, archived at BradBlog.com.

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Posted by Dave Berman - 4:55 PM | Permalink
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