Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Princeton Researchers Hack Diebold Voting Machine

Well, this looks like the beginning of the end of the Diebold voting machine. Princeton University researchers have successfully hacked the machine, and claim that anyone can install vote stealing software on the machine in ONE MINUTE. The software is completely undetectable according to the research paper.

They have a video showing them corrupting an election, as well as their research on their site.

A summary:
This paper presents a fully independent security study of a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine, including its hardware and software. We obtained the machine from a private party. Analysis of the machine, in light of real election procedures, shows that it is vulnerable to extremely serious attacks. For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates. An attacker could also create malicious code that spreads automatically and silently from machine to machine during normal election activities — a voting-machine virus. We have constructed working demonstrations of these attacks in our lab. Mitigating these threats will require changes to the voting machine's hardware and software and the adoption of more rigorous election procedures.
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