Re: About system clocks...

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Thu May 05 2005 - 22:27:58 CDT

<http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/November.2003/0184.html>

Here's an interesting little flash from the past in the archives concerning
system clocks.

For your own searching convenience, here's the address to the archive
http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/

-- 
Thanks, Edmund R. Kennedy
Always work for the common good.
10777 Bendigo Cove
San Diego, CA 92126-2510
USA
I blog now and then at: <http://ekennedyx.blogspot.com/>
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ron Crane" <voting@lastland.net>
To: "Open Voting Consortium discussion list" <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] About system clocks...
> On May 4, 2005, at 3:33 PM, Jim March wrote:
>
>> Ron Crane wrote:
>>
>>> On May 4, 2005, at 2:56 PM, Jim March wrote:
>>>
>>>> Are there any common PC BIOSes that allow blocking of date/time 
>>>> changes?  This has an effect on the accuracy of the audit log.  If I'm 
>>>> a hacker and want to "add votes" later, changing when the votes appear 
>>>> to have been added by rebooting and getting into BIOS setup to change 
>>>> the time is an old trick...
>>>
>>>
>>> I don't know, but many BIOSes provide passwords. If the key management 
>>> I've seen elsewhere is any indication, the passwords probably are stored 
>>> as plaintext in a flash RAM, but, since recovering them (or replacing 
>>> the flash RAM) requires physical access to the machine, they potentially 
>>> provide some security. Of course, they may also have backdoors, or even 
>>> provide an official way to reset the password to a known value.
>>>
>>> -R
>>
>>
>> Yeah, I know about BIOS passwords.  I'm looking for something more 
>> stringent.
>>
>> You know how to defeat the BIOS password?  Find the CMOS memory chip on 
>> the motherboard, typically near the battery.  Take any straight piece of 
>> metal, a paperclip will do, and lay it across the CMOS memory chip pins 
>> one row at a time (typically square hence four rows).  This "blows the 
>> contents" of CMOS memory.  You lose all the BIOS settings and have to 
>> re-enter them and reset the date/time - but you also blow out the 
>> password.
>>
>> Haven't had to do that in a number of years...six or seven?  Anyways, 
>> have things gotten better either standard or by special order?
>
> I suspect there are no longer dedicated CMOS chips in modern systems. 
> Probably the entire system core lives on a single ASIC. That's what I'd do 
> if I wanted to cut costs.
>
> -R
>
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:22 2005

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