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Voting System Hacks Prompt Push for Paper-Based Voting
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cozmo__d
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cozmo__d,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/8/2017 | 9:04:11 AM
Fodder
Why is this even a surprise to people, especially those of us in security? We all know that anything can be breached with unlimited physical access in a controlled environment. So do we call for companies world wide to shut down their computer networks and go back to paper and pen? No! Try hacking the voting machines remotely, or during election day with a ton of election officials around, or how about trying to breach physical security where the machines are stored and see if you can get anywhere. No, you take the absolute easiest way to hack something and then try to make a big deal out of it. Unreal.

When we do assessments for clients, and if we find that we can extract data from their servers, we do not recommend them going back to paper and pen. We give serious recommendations for remediation. Where are the recommendations for remediation here? The so called professionals there gave one recommendation, to go back to paper ballots. WOW!!! Just WOW!!! 

So with that advice, why don't we get rid of computers all together and go back to paper and pen? Why don't we give back our debit cards and go back to an all cash society? Why don't we get rid of computers from cars, since they can be hacked, and go back to cars with no computers? Why don't we give up our mobile phones and go back to land lines?

We, security professionals, are supposed to be innovative. 
alphaa10
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100%
alphaa10,
User Rank: Strategist
8/8/2017 | 4:18:32 PM
Re: Fodder
Remediation is the standard answer to most computer system issues, but with electronic voting machines, remediation must take a different form than tinkering with the hardware or code.

The paper audit trail, most experts on machine voting agree, is the safest, most reliable system available for maintaining integrity in our voting system. Two-factor authentication commonly uses different forms to establish authenticity, and paper offers a form sufficently different to frustrate both local and remote hacks.

Clearly, the convenience and speed of electronic voting tabulation is forfeited when there is no audit system offering reliability and authentication of results. For now, at least, paper audit remains the only answer commonly and readily available. 
REISEN1955
100%
0%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
8/9/2017 | 8:31:17 AM
On Georgia
When the subject has come up in Georgia, the IT staffers in this state say the voting protocol is isolated from the internet.  For wht it is worth whether you believe or not, but generally a really good idea.
theb0x
100%
0%
theb0x,
User Rank: Ninja
8/10/2017 | 5:05:59 PM
Paper-Based Voting
Paper based voting is not a solution or really even a preventative measure / mitigation technique to the issue at hand. Are we forgetting that Hacks are not limited to realm of the digital world? 

Ballots boxes can be physically compromised, votes can be forged, altered, and miscounted.
sighthndman
50%
50%
sighthndman,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/23/2017 | 5:22:33 PM
Re: Fodder
You might have to do some research to check my claims, but the voting system has been hacked many times in history, not just in America but worldwide. There's a famous LBJ quote, "If we count the votes, we'll win the election."

I don't know when actual physical voter fraud ended (that's something historians know). Dead voters don't vote until the vote counters count them, and they vote to make the totals add up. It's a pretty sophisticated system. But it only works if there aren't auditors, or maybe even observors, to keep the vote counters honest. Our system works because voters believe that vote counting fraud is small enough that it "usually" doesn't make a difference (that is, it's always somewhere else, and only a few places, and only a few votes in the House of Representatives, and "we" outvote "them").

So to protect the system, our only defense is to create an audit trail and have observors of the entire process. That means that we have to admit that the system is hackable and make it robust so that we can re-count the votes as needed (just as in the paper ballot days); allow for legal challenges as to which ballots were legally and/or legitimately cast (just as in the paper ballot days); allow for spoiled ballots (ditto); allow for potentially lost and/or rediscovered ballots (but at least not in the trunk of a car [we hope -- or is a lost and rediscovered thumb drive possible? -- politics guarantees full employment for lawyers]); and who knows what else? An armed citizen insurrection to guarantee public counting of ballots (Athens, TN, 1946)?


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