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Be afraid, very afraid. More e-voting problems, covered in a Wired news article:

“Voting activist Bev Harris and a computer scientist say they found more vulnerabilities in an electronic voting system made by Diebold Election Systems, weaknesses that could allow someone to alter votes in the election this November.

Diebold said Harris’ claims are without merit and that if anyone did manage to change votes, a series of checks and balances that election officials perform at the end of an election would detect the changes.”

Harris said it’s possible to alter the vote summaries while leaving the raw data alone. In doing so, the election results that go to state officials would be manipulated, while the canvas spot check performed on the raw data would show that the GEMS results were accurate. Officials would only know that the summary votes didn’t match precinct results if they went back and manually counted results from each individual polling place and compared them to the vote summaries in GEMS.

Diebold said because the two sets of data are coupled in GEMS it would be impossible for someone to change the summaries without changing the precinct data that feeds the summaries. And if they did, the system would flag the change

…But Harris said it’s possible to change the voting summaries without using GEMS by writing a script in Visual Basic — a simple, common programming language for Windows-based machines — that tricks the system into thinking the votes haven’t been changed. GEMS runs on the Windows operating system.

The trick was uncovered by Herbert Thompson, director of security technology at Security Innovation and a teacher of computer security at the Florida Institute of Technology. Thompson has authored several nonfiction books on computer security and co-authored a new novel about hacking electronic voting systems called The Mezonic Agenda: Hacking the Presidency.

…After Harris met Thompson at the Defcon hacker conference this year, she asked him to examine the GEMS program. He found he could write a five-line script in the Notepad text editor that would change the vote summaries in GEMS without changing the raw precinct data. The auditing log in GEMS wouldn’t record the change because it only tracks changes that occur within GEMS, not changes that occur on the computer outside of GEMS.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding