Another Security Hole in E-Voting

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Fri Sep 12 2003 - 16:12:02 CDT

"E-Voting Critics Point to Security Hole"
Associated Press (09/10/03); Konrad, Rachel

Fueling critics' allegations that electronic voting systems are
vulnerable to tampering and abuse is a March 2002 primary in San Luis
Obispo County, Calif., in which the results of absentee votes were
apparently posted on a Web site operated by voting machine supplier
Diebold Election Systems more than four hours before polls closed.
The county employs optical scan machines in which voters mark their
choices on a sheet a paper, while the ballots are scanned into a
computer and transmitted to a central server through a modem once the
polls close; computer security experts say the modem allows hackers
to ambush the data. Diebold's Deborah Seiler acknowledges that her
company is looking into the San Luis Obispo incident, but insists
that Diebold's e-voting systems are rendered fraud-proof by thorough
oversight. She argues that the timestamps for the votes could be
misleading, and suggests that Diebold engineers may have published
the results long after the county primary wrapped up. Milpitas
computer system administrator Jim March wonders what the county's
server was doing linked to a Diebold server, especially if it dialed
out while polls were still open; he explains that the incident could
be attributed to an outside hacker or a malevolent or blundering
Diebold employee. California Voter Foundation President Kim
Alexander admits that the incident and other problems have made
e-voting systems a source of worry.

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Tue Sep 30 23:17:03 2003

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