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Diebold's Deliberate Security Vulnerability PDF  | Print |  Email
Contributed by John Gideon, VoteTrustUSA and   
May 12, 2006
Experts Agree: 'It's the Most Serious Security Breach Ever Discovered in a Voting System"Three States Issue Mitigation Plans, Georgia Ignores The 'Black Hole'

As was expected the corporate media picked-up the latest in Diebold's sordid story -- which we reported first here last Friday -- with articles by Ian Hoffman yesterday and today and even the Associated Press stepped in as well.

Unfortunately the headline of Hoffman's article yesterday characterized the security hole as being a 'glitch'; which this certainly is not. It is also not a 'flaw' as it was characterized by today's Hoffman and AP articles. (Ed note: Hoffman has been very good at reporting on all of these related stories, so we don't wish to be overly critical of him, but rather point out the inaccurate characterization.)

This is a 'feature' that was knowingly installed by Diebold. It was not a mistake or something that was overlooked in the design of the software. It is not a 'bug', 'glitch', 'flaw', 'error in programming' or any other simplistic name. Michael Shamos, a Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor and veteran voting-systems examiner for the state of Pennsylvania has said this:

"It's the most serious security breach that's ever been discovered in a voting system. On this one, the probability of success is extremely high because there's no residue.... Any kind of cursory inspection of the machine would not reveal it."
Johns Hopkins University computer science professor Avi Rubin, who published the first security analysis of Diebold voting software in 2003 had this to say:

"I think it's the most serious thing I've heard to date. Even describing why I think its serious is dangerous. This is something that's so easy to do that if the public were to hear about it, it would raise the risk of someone doing it. ... This is the worst-case scenario, almost."

In the meantime the state of Georgia has decided that there is nothing that they have to do because their administrative rules already mitigate the problem. Of course, they made that statement without knowing what the full problem is.

A redacted copy of the Hursti "Critical Security Alert: Diebold TSx and TS6 voting systems" can be found at BlackBoxVoting.Org. Bev Harris guarantees that the redaction only resulted in 50 words being removed from this copy of the report.

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