Electronic Vulnerability

Larry Wilkerson on Computerized Elections

Are Larry Wilkerson’s concerns justified? Without sufficient audits and recounts, we can never be certain. As he tells us, history tends toward cheating whenever it is possible.

Our position is that paper ballots and optical scanning followed by sufficient security, audits, and recounts is the optimum system available. Yet, in Connecticut we need stronger security, audits, and recounts to achieve justified integrity and confidence in our elections.

NonScience Nonsense, another claim of electronic voting security

In late June a respected source published a non-peer-reviewed article: The case for election technology Which despite its title is actually a marketing piece disguised as science, not for election technology but for electronic voting, including Internet voting. The case actually made is for skepticism and peer-review.

That skepticism is well addressed in posts by Jeremy Epstein and E. John Sebes: How not to measure security and A Hacked Case For Election Technology

Online Voter Registration: Vulnerable too!

An independent report by the state auditor general found Florida’s voter registration database flawed.

Susanna Randolph, one of the candidates running for Alan Grayson’s 9th district congressional seat, sent a letter today asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to launch a Department of Justice probe into the state’s voter system.

Unfortunately, we took a shot that was pretty close last month!

Last month, after a report of drone hacking, I speculated wildly, according to some:

My concern is that if cars can be hacked, why not police vehicles, especially, those armored military vehicles now in the hands of our local police?

Its even worse than we thought. A couple demonstrate graphically the hacking and controlling of a sniper rifle.

Top Six Ways Hackers Could (have) Disrupt(ed) an Election

The election system is particularly vulnerable because it involves a combination of state, local, and federal government agencies with their own systems, software, hardware, and security protocols. Often, government departments are running old “legacy” computer systems that are extremely vulnerable to malware and hacking; and even if they have new systems, these are often put into place without a comprehensive security audit and performance review.

Who exactly is in charge of securing these overlapping networks isn’t always clear in government either.

“Security online today, is not up to the task of online voting today.”

My friend, Duncan Buell, sent along a .pdf with a blog post of his, Computer Security and the Risks of Online Voting, along with another blog post about drones Meet A.I. Joe

The Power of Partnership: Do you know what your election officials have been watching?


Direct from the Dominion web, a marketing video featuring Denver election officials.services from Dominion.

We recommend caution for election officials, along with concern and skepticism for voters and taxpayers.

Aging Voting Machines Sitting Rusts for Hacking

Over the last few years, we have provided many posts on the real risks of Internet voting.  A new report and article highlighting that report, remind us all of the risks of voting machines in use several years ago: Hack the vote: Cyber experts say ballot machines easy targets

Reminder:  We are still using those machines.

Too Reliable Computers: A threat to life and to democracy!

Most people are aware of the risks of unreliable computers, yet tend to be oblivious to the distinct risk of too reliable computers.  If computers were as unreliable as people, we would not be at risk of excess trust and overconfidence.

One particular anecdote from lasts night’s Newshour highlights the risks of computers that are too reliable, yet not perfect.  When it comes to medicine (or robotic weapons) too reliable computers can cause harm, including death.  When it comes elections too reliable computers can kill democracy.

Elections and Voting Summit Joseph Kiniry: Technical Tradeoffs

Last January I attended the annual Elections and Voting Summit. I was most interested in a presentation by Joseph Kiniry on Technical Trade0ffs. It is a relatively brief presentation, with some important thoughts: Online voting convenience vs. risks, transparent systems vs. proprietary rights etc.

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