More Diebold Hacking Demonstrations


The Miami Herald has an article on some recent demonstrations that aimed to show Florida officials how easy it would be to hack into electronic voting machines and change the outcome of the election. (They've also got some really annoying Javascript popups that mess up the page.)

BlackBox hired Herbert Thompson, a computer-science professor and strategist at Security Innovation, which tests software for companies such as Google and Microsoft.

Thompson couldn't hack into the system from the outside. So Sancho gave him access to the central machine that tabulates votes and to the last school election at Leon County High.

Thompson told The Herald he was ''shocked'' at how easy it was to get in, make the loser the winner and leave without a trace. The machine asked for a user name and password, but didn't require it, he said. That meant it had not just a ''front door, but a back door as big as a garage,'' Thompson said.

From there, Thompson said, he typed five lines of computer code -- and switched 5,000 votes from one candidate to another.

''I am positive an eighth grader could do this,'' Thompson said.
From Herald.com | 12/15/2005 | New tests fuel doubts about vote machines
Referenced Mon Dec 19 2005 13:57:02 GMT-0700 (MST)

Of course, someone with physical access to current voting tabulation equipment could also easily skew the results of the election. These kinds of stories scare the public, but they don't scare election officials as much because they know how bad the current systems are. Still, not something to give you warm fuzzies--you hope the new stuff will be better.