Hack the Vote


The Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy has published a report disclosing security vulnerabilities that researchers have detected in Sequoia's AVC Advantage voting machine. According to the researchers, the machine can be completely compromised by replacing a single ROM chip--a task that they were able to complete in only seven minutes.

More here.

It's been five years since I first wrote about the insecurity of electronic voting machines. From that 2003 article:

"There isn't a system that has all I want" in terms of security, cost and ease of maintenance, says Tom Stanionis, head of data processing for Yolo County, near Sacramento. Yet he says he is being rushed into choosing new machines.

What's changed since then? The feds have forced a lot more of the iffy machines into polling places, and evidence of their insecurity has continued to mount.

There's a valuable lesson here about mixing politics and IT, and about the limits of technology. I'm headed into an interview with Bruce Schneier, this is on my list of topics to discuss.