A long awaited study of electronic voting machine security by computer scientists and security experts has been released this morning by the Brennan Center of Justice at the NYU School of Law.
Given preparations for tonight and tomorrow's "Emergency Townhall" events on the Busby/Bilbray mess (I'll be emceeing and "keynoting"), I've yet to be able to read the long report any more than cursorily, so I'm forced to defer for now to USA Today's coverage of it from this morning...
WASHINGTON — Most of the electronic voting machines widely adopted since the disputed 2000 presidential election "pose a real danger to the integrity of national, state and local elections," a report out Tuesday concludes.
There are more than 120 security threats to the three most commonly purchased electronic voting systems, the study by the Brennan Center for Justice says. For what it calls the most comprehensive review of its kind, the New York City-based non-partisan think tank convened a task force of election officials, computer scientists and security experts to study e-voting vulnerabilities.
Among the findings:
• Using corrupt software to switch votes from one candidate to another is the easiest way to attack all three systems. A would-be hacker would have to overcome many hurdles to do this, the report says, but none "is insurmountable."
• The most vulnerable voting machines use wireless components open to attack by "virtually any member of the public with some knowledge and a personal digital assistant." Only New York, Minnesota and California ban wireless components.
• Even electronic systems that use voter-verified paper records are subject to attack unless they are regularly audited.
• Most states have not implemented election procedures or countermeasures to detect software attacks.
Here's the complete Executive Summary [PDF] of the Brennan Report.