Re: Diebold firmware 1.94W v 1.96

From: Rick Carback <rick_dot_carback_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Aug 17 2007 - 00:32:18 CDT

Would it not be reasonable for you to ask them to show you how and why it is
different, and get someone who knows what they are doing to take a look at
what they provide?

To me, the very notion that "it's different" can be used as an excuse and
*anyone* can think that it is valid is confusing to me. See:

http://www.acsac.org/2005/papers/Snow.pdf

They really should "prove" to you that it's secure, and they could do that
with assurance building activities as they are talked about in the paper.
Right now people are operating on the principle that "it hasn't been proven
otherwise", and that's just flawed on so many levels. It's like a certain
type of bridge falling down and people saying all other bridges of that type
are fine because "it's a different bridge" -- no one in their right mind
would believe that!

A choice quote from the paper above:

"Assurances are confidence-building activities
 demonstrating that

   1. The system's security policy is internally
       consistent and reflects the requirements of the
       organization,
    2. There are sufficient security functions to
       support the security policy,
    3. The system functions meet a desired set of
       properties and only those properties,
    4. The functions are implemented correctly, and
    5. The assurances hold up through the
       manufacturing, delivery, and life cycle of the
       system."

Maybe the school of thought is that, indeed, they have shown it is secure by
passing certification requirements, but the problems that keep popping up
have shown that the certification process is quite flawed.

You should be operating under the assumption of insecurity until shown
otherwise...ask them for some proof of their claim.

-Rick

On 8/16/07, Richard C. Johnson <dick@iwwco.com> wrote:
>
> Well, Diebold is right in that different versions require certification
> good only for the version certified. Close only counts in horseshoes and
> hand grenades. But...with the same architecture "completely different" is
> not very convincing.
>
> Even so, at best what is being offered is a simple unknown; at worst, the
> same faults you mention could be expected plus all those in the old version
> plus a bunch more faults in the new version. Diebold also has it backwards;
> the burden should be on Diebold to show that their stuff works, not on the
> public to show that it does not. That means public disclosure of source and
> of internal as well as VSTL/ITL test results at a minimum. IMHO.
>
> -- Dick
>
> *Nancy Tobi <nancy.tobi@gmail.com>* wrote:
>
> Does anyone know if there are tests and reports on the Diebold AccuVote
> optical scanner firmware version 1.94w?
>
> Diebold is making claims that the 1.96 tests conducted in California don't
> apply because "it is completely different". But both use the same
> architecture: memory cards, etc. So I would expect the same vulnerabilities,
> such as viral hacking via the memory cards, would be applicable.
>
> Anybody have any technical information or otherwise to help me refute the
> NH Diebold vendor claims?
>
> Thanks.
>
> Nancy
>
> --
> Nancy Tobi
> Chair, Fair Elections Committee
> Legislative Coordinator, Election Defense Alliance
> nancy.tobi@gmail.com
> www.DemocracyForNewHampshire.com
> www.electiondefensealliance.org
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Received on Fri Aug 31 23:17:05 2007

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