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Sequoia Voting Machines Hacked to Play Pac-Man

Sequoia, Diebold... e-voting has a long way to go.
(Image is in the Public Domain)
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.

Source

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DC Online Voting Halted Due to Hackers

Evoting
(Image is in the Public Domain)

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).

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Judge Supresses Report on Voting Machine Insecurity

Evoting
(Image is in the Public Domain)

Just great.

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Diebold Finally Admits Voting Machines Lose Votes

Evoting
(Image is in the Public Domain)

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 Worthless Diebold Voting Machines

Evoting
(Image is in the Public Domain)

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?

Update

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). Tags: ,

Ohio Sues Diebold for Fraudulent E-Voting Machines

Evoting
(Image is in the Public Domain)

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 salesguys (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.

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Voting Machines Shown to Add Wrong

Evoting
(Image is in the Public Domain)

In case you didn't know already, voting machines are hackable and otherwise, just plain poop. Any state that's using them should be sued. Now a man has used voting machine print-outs to prove that they are adding votes incorrectly.

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How to Hack a Diebold Voting Machine – Picture

I found this picture on Digg.com 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, substandard, and completely worthless machines. Better yet sue them for incompetence or corruption (or both). Tags: , , ,

Colorado E-Voting Machines Decertified

Well good. (H/T to slashdot for the link) Tags: , ,

Ohio E-Voting Report: Surprise! It Doesn’t Work!

I should make a song. I'll call it "Duh" and repeat the word "duh" over and over. Then I'll send it to all the state election boards who have been using e-voting. Here's an excerpt from Ars Technica's writeup of this startling revelation:
To put it in every-day terms, the tools needed to compromise an accurate vote count could be as simple as tampering with the paper audit trail connector or using a magnet and a personal digital assistant," Brunner said in a statement. Note that Brenner here is describing machines that have been in use in Ohio since before the 2004 presidential election. This isn't some glimpse of how bad things might be in November 2008. It's a look at how bad they've been all along.
*sigh* Tags: , ,

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