Sequoia Voting Machines Hacked to Play Pac-Man

Sequoia, Diebold... e-voting has a long way to go.
Sequoia, Diebold... e-voting has a long way to go.
This is your Sequoia touch-screen voting machine with Pac-Man hacked onto it without disturbing any of the "tamper-evident" seals supposedly meant to protect it from hackers…

Apparently, they put tamper seals on the ports and plugins, but NOT the case itself. Therefore, the university was able to just dismantle the machine and connect on the inside instead. Pathetic attempt Sequoia, just pathetic.



DC Online Voting Halted Due to Hackers

From the Washington Post:

Last week, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics opened a new Internet-based voting system for a weeklong test period, inviting computer experts from all corners to prod its vulnerabilities in the spirit of "give it your best shot." Well, the hackers gave it their best shot — and midday Friday, the trial period was suspended, with the board citing "usability issues brought to our attention."

Here's one of those issues: After casting a vote, according to test observers, the Web site played "Hail to the Victors" — the University of Michigan fight song.

Whoah! E-voting not secure? Where have we heard that before!? And the best part is that it doesn't even take the vile hacker underground to do it. It's the college researchers each time.

No knock against college researchers, but for e-voting to work, it should take a vast conspiracy spanning several continents and special agents who jump from helicopters in the night to break into buildings through air-ducts not some mostly-sober frat boy. They obviously have no idea what they're doing and should stop. Now.

About the only ray of light in this whole story is that they were smart enough to challenge the public to hack them thus making their failure obvious (and therefore correctable).

E-voting will come eventually, but not now and probably not for a long time. Wait… Scratch that. It WILL come, but it won't be ready, it won't be secure, and we'll all suffer for it (like we did the last time).

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Judge Supresses Report on Voting Machine Insecurity

Just great.


Diebold Finally Admits Voting Machines Lose Votes

Though they originally blamed it on anti-virus software on the machines, Diebold has admitted that it was coding error that leads its machines to drop votes. Hopefully that will help in the lawsuit against Diebold and encourage others states to recoup their losses as well.

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States Throw Out Diebold Voting Machines

It’s actually very encouraging that the same states that were originally duped into buying these machines despite the vast mountain of evidence of their general worthlessness have become smart enough to remove them in time for the upcoming election.

And about this:

“I have a huge inventory of machines that I am not able to use,” she complained. “They are just sitting in our warehouse basically useless.” Stacked to floor to ceiling are 4,000 machines purchased at $3,500 each. Total cost of that system: $16 million.

How exactly does Diebold get away with selling defective merchandise to the government without being forced to issue a refund?


Today Ars Technica also covers the story and adds some interesting details. For example, it turns out that in one case a voting machine company offered to buy back their machines from the state for $1 each (their original price was $5000 each). At least the state was smart enough to decline).

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Ohio Sues Diebold for Fraudulent E-Voting Machines

Of course, I believe some of the blame should go to the Ohio elections people, but I can't fault them for being pulled in by slick salespeople (if that's what actually happened). Either way, at least they're fessing up and making sure to hold Diebold accountable for their flop.

The touch-screen voting setup used in half of Ohio's 88 counties doesn't work properly, and the former Diebold Election Systems should pay as a result, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said in a court filing yesterday.

Well duh. Better yet, they should scrap the system and get something that actually works. In theory, my state has which is good since I'd hate to be blocked from voting again this year.

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Diebold Universal Keys Easily Duplicated

So not only was Diebold dumb enough to use a universal key for all their voting machines, and not only did they sell those keys off their website (though supposedly only to “authorized people” as if we could trust them to handle who’s authorized or not), but they posted a picture of the keys on the Internet which allowed at least one researcher to make a perfect working copy at home with a key blank bought from the store and a file.

This story came to light a while ago, but there’s been some updates such as:

In a classic Diebold bury-the-evidence move, they’ve now replaced the entire page in their online store featuring the mechanical, copyable key with a page featuring a “Smart Card, Security Key Card.” A digital key card. Same link, different key entirely. Which can only be done, given the database they use for their online store, quite deliberately in order to try to fool folks again. Par for the course. And, of course, shameless.
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Super Tuesday Meet E-Voting Kryptonite

Several states are still using e-voting despite the disastrous security they provide. Because of that, voting advocacy groups have labeled six of the 24 states in the primary as being high risk for miscounts due to tampering or malfunction. Best of all, these miscounts would be undetectable due to lack of a paper record for audit or recount.

How after all this time can they still allow these dumb things? Even Maryland has seen the light and removed e-voting!


How to Hack a Diebold Voting Machine – Picture

I found this picture on that has an easy 5 step process to hacking the voting machines to do your bidding. Remember when you go to vote soon, to thank your state's voting commission if they are using these well known, hackable, and substandard machines.

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Colorado E-Voting Machines Decertified

Well good.

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