Experts Begging Diebold to 'Come Back to Reality, Secure Nation's Voting'
Is that the Diebold Secret Source Code that Arrived in my Mail Today?
By Alan Breslauer on 10/22/2006, 10:50pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Diebold's "system is utterly unsecured," said cyber-security expert Stephen Spoonamore in the online print version of ABC World News' report on Sunday Night.

Spoonamore continued, "The entire cyber-security community is begging them to come back to reality and secure our nation's voting."

With the election only 16 days away, ABC World News worries "about another Florida style ballot fiasco" in tonight's e-voting segment. One major concern, it seems, is that e-voting machine maker Diebold's source code is turning up in random mail boxes, as The BRAD BLOG reported last Thursday. Yet, despite this latest revelation coming on the heels of a Princeton study evidencing the ease in which Diebold machines could be hacked, Diebold maintains everything is peachy.

-- ABC's Video report here...
-- ABC's printed report (with additional details) here...

UPDATE FROM BRAD 9:22pm PT:

We're delighted to see that ABC News has finally decided that there is a story here worth reporting. Wish they had come on board long ago. In any case, the print version of their story, written by Jake Tapper, Rebecca Abrahams and Eduardo Sunol, has several notable details above and beyond the video report. In addition to the comments from Spoonamore above, there's this...

Diebold, the company that makes the voting machines, told ABC News, "These discs do not alter the security of the Diebold touch-screen system in any way," because election workers can set their own passwords.

But ABC News has obtained an independent report commissioned by the state of Maryland and conducted by Science Applications International Corporation revealing that the original Diebold factory passwords are still being used on many voting machines.

The SAIC study also shows myriad other security flaws, including administrative over-ride passwords that cannot be changed by local officials but can be used by hackers or those who have seen the discs.

The report further states that one of the high risks to the system comes if operating code discs are lost, stolen or seen by unauthorized parties --- precisely what seems to have occurred with the discs sent to Kagan, who worries that the incident indicates the secret source code is not that difficult to obtain.

"Certainly, just tweaking a few votes in a couple of states could radically change the outcome of our policies for the coming year," she said.