Re: Integrating two solutions (related to the Calif. bill thread)

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Wed Jan 21 2009 - 21:35:43 CST
Douglas A. Whitfield wrote:
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM, Jim March <1.jim.march@gmail.com> wrote:
As is being thrashed out now, even with open source there are issues related to
firmware hacking (a significant threat!)

Well, this one is pretty easy...open firmware.
1. The mainboard BIOS is not the only firmware onboard a computer. Other firmware resides in the video controller, the CDROM controller, other peripheral controllers, and even the CPU itself (see, e.g., http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?ProductID=2643&DwnldID=14303&lang=eng to download microcode updates for many Intel x86 CPUs);

2. Even assuming that all firmware-containing devices use "open firmware", the general public needs to be able to verify that they actually contain the proper version of that firmware. Creating a procedure to do this for the voting application on a CD-ROM, such procedure being effective, secure, and acceptable to elections officials, has proven to be rather difficult. Doing it for all firmware-containing devices -- or even just the mainboard BIOS -- will be much more difficult.

-R

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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:49 2010

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