OT. Hacking Democracy.

Don't be a fool by pointing at a supposed tinfoil hat. I'm not wearing one. There are 9 episodes...... Truly mind-boggling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzPXer7946E

r
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Companies that sell movies on DVDs have the option of including a 'regional code' on the DVD. DVD players also have a regional code embedded in their firmware. Typically the regional code in a DVD player can be changed to play DVDs with a different regional code--but only five times. After the fifth change the code is 'locked' in on the DVD player and can only be changed by replacing a chip.
It is not possible to 'hack' a locked DVD player using code embedded on a DVD, or even through the communications interface used to control the DVD player or stream the data.
But it is possible to hack many voting machines using code embedded on the flash card inserted into the machine to record votes.
IOW, the regional code protection on a typical DVD player is MORE secure than the essential software on many of our voting machines!
Were it my job to design a voting machine the first design decision I would make would be to put the software on an EPROM so that it could not be hacked without physically removing the chip from the machine. People smarter than I, and there are plenty of them, could probably come up with less expensive intrinsicly secure methods.
This leaves me concluding that incompetence alone is not sufficient to explain why voting machines that can be hacked by malware embedded on the flash cards are being used. It is so easy and straightforward to incorporate intrisic security into such a device that I have to conclude that an instrinsicly secure design was deliberately rejected during development.
--
FF

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Fred the Red Shirt said:

Actually, there are several programs that allow a DVD drive to ignore not only the region code, but break the CSS encryption code. There are also firmware hacks that remove the region code check entirely. And to demonstrate how secure this multi-million dollar DVD encryption code engineering faux pas was, it took a 14 year old kid in Finland about a week to break it - with the advantage of having one key to work from. (Google DeCSS)

As well as other ways, including the tabulator software.

Exponentially greater - and that is a thoroughly depressing thought. I have a copy of the original GEMS tabulator software intended for use in the FL 2000 election. While they most assuredly have rewritten parts of it, it was a bad joke. Microsoft Access, no hashing or encryption or security to speak of. MS Jet engine could directly manipulate the tabulated votes. Bad stuff.

Easily, and far cheaper. Dedicated hardware. No chance of manipulation, till you get to the tabulator...

Getting a product to market quick by a favored vendor so that they could cash in on the new electronic Vote America mandates. And the added possibility of subverting the vote. A gleam in their eyes both ways. Diebold, AIR, still will not release the source for examination by computer professionals. As a partial nerd, I am outraged. Watch these guys carefully.
They should have given the job of design to computer science departments at MIT, et al. Make the money put into education pay something back to the citizens of the US.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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On Thu, 17 Jan 2008 14:22:36 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

ok got my tinfoil hat on but there seems to be some parts of this missing! lol watched parts 1 2 and 3 then could only watch part 9. what happened to parts 4 5 6 7 and 8? hmmmm..... conspiracy maybe?
BTW hope you are healing. you got too much time on your hands here lately! :-]>
skeez
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Contact me off list
Lew
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I'm back to work full-up. Just 12 hour days, cuz I still feel like slacking a bit, but soon back to 16 hour days.
When voting is rigged, democracy dies.
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Robatoy wrote:

... snip

You act as if this is something new. Does the name "Richard Vote-early-and-vote-often Daley" ring a bell? Chicago, where even the dead turn out on election day? The University of Michigan (IIRC, may have been Minnesota) where a number of people admitted to casting multiple votes. The election of 1960 where the standing joke was that ballot boxes in a number of precincts had holes so they would sink better. More recently, Washington state, where they kept "finding" ballot boxes until Maria Cantwell finally won the recount? Ballot box stuffing is sadly nothing new, the technology may have changed, but the motivations have not.
No matter what technology is used, someone is going to figure out how to game the system. That is why all the parties involved have poll watchers and should be monitoring vote counts. Do you think the Dems would sign off on a new vote technology they thought was gamed against them ? I would like to say ditto for the Republicans, but past history seems to point out that too many of the Republican leadership are more afraid of making waves and not offending the opposition.
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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Not at all. What is new, is that the machine merchants are making the hackability a feature. "You allocate the funds to buy this equipment, and we'll make sure you're going to get elected."
That's what is new, IMHO.
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"Voters decide nothing; people who count votes decide everything." --Joseph Stalin
--
Swampbug
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