Re: code validation?

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Tue Feb 22 2005 - 15:16:27 CST

How easy is it to "reverse engineer" a body of code to match a hash,
even one that's broken? Would listing the code length also help?

The CDs should have some suitable chain of custody.

One outstanding question is how we prevent the hash-code displaying
software from lying and giving the published answers even if the code
doesn't match.

Best regards,

At 12:59 PM -0800 2/22/05, Edmund R. Kennedy wrote:
>In addition to what David says, my informed lay
>person's understanding of encryption tells me that the
>security issue here has to do with managing risk. In
>the end, is is a judgement call as to whether the risk
>is acceptable to most people.
>Thanks, Ed Kennedy
>--- David Mertz <> wrote:
>> On Feb 22, 2005, at 3:27 PM, Paul Kinzelman wrote:
>> > But I can take the code, insert my insidious
>> > fraudulent code, and update the hash code, then
>> release the
>> > CDROM with my fraudulent code to unsuspecting
>> precinct people,
>> > for instance, and the hash code will check.
>> Well, in a word, 'No'.
>> The hash code[*] isn't just distributed on a slip of
>> paper taped to the
>> CD. A given version of the OVC software will have a
>> known and
>> published hash. That hash would be published on
>> websites, newspapers,
>> etc., and any CD poll workers got that lacked that
>> published hash will
>> be deemed no-good.
>> [*] I would have said SHA-1 three days ago, but now
>> that algorithm has
>> been broken by the same brilliant Chinese team who
>> broke MD5
>> But actually, we've been through this quite a bit in
>> the archives.
>> We'll use Liam's StrongBox Linux (or something much
>> like it) which
>> includes a whole toolchain of all the "right* crypto
>> procedures.
>> Virtual disk images for different software sets
>> (voting station, audio,
>> tabulation, etc), bootable from CD, key layers for
>> public key
>> verification, and so on, StrongBox does all this
>> sort of stuff.
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Received on Sun Feb 27 17:17:10 2005

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