Diebold easily hacked

Peter Jones peter at redesignresearch.com
Fri Dec 16 05:38:11 PST 2005

Dave - For IP, in case you had not seen this yet. The punchline:
of State says the issue is between the election supervisor and Diebold.
Apparently, hackable voting machines are not sufficient cause for
concern to
Florida's sterling electoral system.


County says electronic voting machines can be hacked

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Tests on an optical-scan voting system used
the country showed it is vulnerable to hacking that can change the
of races without leaving evidence of fraud, a county election supervisor

The voting system maker, Diebold Inc., sent a letter in response that
questioned the test results and said the test was "a very foolish and
irresponsible act" that may violated licensing agreements.

Company spokesman David Bear did not return a phone call from The
Press seeking comment Thursday. Diebold's letter was written by its
lawyer, Michael Lindroos, and sent to the state of Florida, Leon
County and
the county election supervisor, Ion Sancho.

Optical-scan machines use paper ballots where voters fill in bubbles
to mark
their candidates. The ballots are then fed into scanners that record the
In one of the tests conducted for Sancho and the non-profit
election-monitoring group BlackBoxVoting.org, the researchers were
able to
get into the system easily, make the loser the winner and leave
without a
trace, said Herbert Thompson, who conducted the test.

He also said the machine that tabulates the overall count asked for a
name and password, but didn't require it.

In the other test, the researcher who had hacked into the voting
memory card was able to hide votes, make losers out of winners and
leave no
trace of the changes, said BlackBox founder Bev Harris. The memory card
records the votes of one machine, then is taken to a central location
results are totaled.
Sancho criticized the Florida Secretary of State's Office, which
the voting systems used in the state, for not catching the alleged

A spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office said any faults Sancho
found were between him and Diebold.

"If Ion Sancho has security concerns with his system, he needs to
them with Diebold," spokeswoman Jenny Nash said.

The Miami Herald reported Thursday that Sancho scraped Leon's Diebold
machines this week for a voting system from another manufacturer.
Many Florida counties switched to computer-based elections systems
after the
2000 presidential election, when the cardboard punchcard ballots then
in use
were plagued by incomplete and multiple punches.

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