University of Michigan professor of computer science, J. Alex Halderman makes a special study of voting machines. Before competing his doctorate, he earned his masters at Princeton inventing the "cold boot attack" where you pour liquid nitrogen on a CPU before unpowering it, in order to preserve the state of the memory.
What Bev Harris had to say that was particularly disturbing concerned the trade secret protected election software for the Diebold voting machines which were widely in use around the country. She discovered their software when it had been left on their website accidentally. She downloaded it and, after reviewing it with computer programming experts, pronounced it “a handbook on how to tamper with an election”….and that it was so simple, “any hacker with a laptop could do it!”.
Not only that, in McKinney Texas, Bev, along with Black Box Voting’s Co-Director Kathleen Wynne, went dumpster diving and found incriminating evidence of payoffs to officials for promoting the machines.
Attacking the Washington, D.C.
Internet Voting System
Scott Wolchok, Eric Wustrow, Dawn Isabel, and J. Alex Halderman
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Scott Wolchok, Eric Wustrow, J. Alex Halderman, Hari K. Prasad, Arun Kankipati, Sai Krishna Sakhamuri, Vasavya Yagati, and Rop Gonggrijp
Proc. 17th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
CCS ’10, Chicago, IL, October 2010
Researchers load Pac-Man onto voting machine
By JONATHAN DEC
Published: Friday, October 15th, 2010
[more here] © Alex Halderman Ariel Feldman GS and Alex Halderman GS ’09 showed that electronic voting machines can be hacked, just like any computer.
When voters visit polling places on Nov. 2, they likely won’t realize that the machines that will count their votes could run at least one video game.
Over the summer, computer science graduate student Ariel Feldman and Alex Halderman GS ’09 reprogrammed a Sequoia AVC Edge touch-screen voting machine to play the arcade classic Pac-Man in honor of the game’s 30th anniversary. The process took just three afternoons.
“The machine internally resembles something like a 15-year-old PC,” Feldman said. “It will run PC software if you can get it on there.”
“It would take a much smaller change to the software to reprogram it to steal votes,” Halderman said.
Felten, Feldman and Halderman released a paper in 2006 that detailed their discovery of a security flaw in a different voting machine: the Accuvote-TS produced by Diebold, Inc. The researchers discovered that viruses could be spread from machine to machine via removable memory cards.
© Alex Halderman[/right]
Ariel Feldman GS and Alex Halderman GS ’09 showed that electronic voting machines can be hacked, just like any computer.[/left]
Researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have developed a hack that, for about $26 and an 8th-grade science education, can remotely manipulate the electronic voting machines used by millions of voters all across the U.S.
The researchers, Salon reported, performed their proof-of-concept hack on a Diebold Accuvote TS electronic voting machine, a type of touchscreen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system that is widely used for government elections.
(Diebold's voting-machine business is now owned by the Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, whose e-voting machines are used in about 22 states.)