As we have long tried to get across to anyone who would listen, the greatest threat to "secure" computerized systems --- such as the electronic voting systems, incredibly, still in use in all 50 states for this year's crucial election cycle --- comes from insiders.
Late last week, another report, this one via ComputerWorld, underscored the point yet again:
IDG News Service - A Bank of America computer specialist is set to plead guilty to charges that he hacked the bank's automated tellers to dispense cash without recording the activity.
Rodney Reed Caverly, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is scheduled to plead guilty to a computer fraud charge next Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte, according to his lawyer Christopher Fialko, who declined to comment further on the case.
Caverly was charged last week with one count of computer fraud for allegedly writing a malicious program that ran on Bank of America's computers and ATMs, according to court filings.
He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Caverly had worked in Bank of America's IT department where he designed and maintained computer systems, including those used by the ATMs. The alleged scam ran between March 2009 and October 2009.
The gullible are welcome to buy into the Rightwing propaganda that ACORN is somehow stealing elections, despite the complete dearth of any actual evidence that any vote has ever been illegally cast in any election vis a vis an improper registration by an ACORN worker.
But the facts, demonstrated yet again by the BofA story, are much as non-ideological computer scientists and security experts have been trying to warn for years in regard to electronic voting systems: the greatest threat to such systems comes from insiders, such as election officials who can manipulate results simply and directly and in such a way that they are unlikely to ever get caught doing it.
Even the sham 2005 Rightwing-created Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission --- created almost entirely to put an "official"-appearing imprimatur on the call for disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at polling places --- was forced to admit as much in their final report...
"There is no reason to trust insiders in the election industry any more than in other industries," they correctly noted in their findings. Yet we "trust" such insiders in virtually every election run in America --- run largely by private, unaccountable corporations, rather than us, we the people.
For the record, while the IDG News Service article doesn't specify which company's machines were hacked by the Bank of America insider, they use among their ATM suppliers some company known as Diebold --- the same irresponsible company whose fully-hackable, oft-failed e-voting systems are still used for some 40% of U.S. elections.
If the hacked BofA systems were made by Diebold it would not be the first hack of either its ATMs nor its voting machines (which have now been hacked many times over). Last year, Diebold was forced to notify customers that malware had been discovered on its ATM systems in Russia. The malware, as reported at the time, exploited "undocumented features to create a virtual 'skimmer' which is capable of recording card details and personal identification numbers without the user's knowledge." It was speculated that the malware code was likely "pre-installed by an insider at the factory."
In response, the company wrote to customers at the time, presumably with a straight face [emphasis added]:
As long time readers of The BRAD BLOG know, security has never been a priority for Diebold --- at least not in its voting machine division, as scores of previous articles here have demonstrated time and again over the years.
As early as 2005, when most in the corporate media regarded such concerns as "conspiracy theories," we quoted a years-long Diebold insider who told us repeatedly and in no uncertain terms that the company was simply "not concerned about security."
"They don't have security solutions. They don't want them," the insider told us at the time. "They don't really care."
Most of the security flaws the source told us about, exclusively, back in September of 2005, many of which were later confirmed over and again by various independent academic studies and hacking tests, remain in the hardware and software still in use across the nation even today.
Here are just a few, but by no means all, of the articles from among our library of noteworthy Diebold e-voting system security failures throughout the years...
- Diebold Admits Audit Logs in ALL Versions of Their Software Fail to Record Ballot Deletions
- E-VOTE BOMBSHELL: Diebold Tabulator Drops Votes, Allows Undetectable Audit Log Deletion
- DIEBOLD VOTING MACHINE KEY COPIED FROM PHOTO AT COMPANY'S OWN ONLINE STORE!
- HACKED: VIRUS IMPLANTED, SPREAD ON DIEBOLD TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING MACHINE!
Other than that, watch out for that dastardly (if mythical) ACORN "voter fraud" and remember: "Security is one of Diebold's absolute priorities." Also, Diebold has a swell bridge in Brooklyn that they can sell you for an unbeatable price!
[Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG reader "CJ".]