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Election Officials And Crackers Challenge Diebold 219

Rick Zeman writes "The Washington Post is reporting that election officials in Florida have manipulated election results in controlled tests. From the article: 'Four times over the past year Sancho told computer specialists to break in to his voting system. And on all four occasions they did, changing results with what the specialists described as relatively unsophisticated hacking techniques. To Sancho, the results showed the vulnerability of voting equipment manufactured by Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems, which is used by Leon County and many other jurisdictions around the country.'"
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Election Officials And Crackers Challenge Diebold

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  • by Jaazaniah ( 894694 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:38AM (#14531738)
    Seriously, if someone has the knowledge of the system you just proposed, why not take the long shot and propose to work for the gov't and put that together? Not only would you be able to demonstrate how insecure Diebold's system is with a tiny PDA that can read/write their memory sticks, but you'd also be able to demonstrate that you can't do that to yours. At least not on the fly with a PDA.

    Steps to stopping the stupidity:
    1) Put down (favorite game) when you're off work.
    2) Write plan, put something together.
    3) Get in touch [] with someone with the power to make the (smart) decision.
    4) Show off.
  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:51AM (#14531778) Homepage Journal
    Steps to stopping the stupidity:
    1) Put down (favorite game) when you're off work.
    2) Write plan, put something together.
    3) Get in touch with someone with the power to make the (smart) decision.

    4) Go to jail because now they can prove you tried to find a way to subvert the system.

  • by TallMatthew ( 919136 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @09:43AM (#14532216)
    My impression is that the Bush family is the most corrupt family every to have political power in the United States. These are people who believe that they are more than 100% right, and that other people don't matter.

    I think you overestimate the influence of morality. The interest of this family (and their party) has little to do with right and wrong. Despite our president's delusions that the voices in his head are Jesus Christ telling him what to do, that's really not the point.

    At some point (hint RR), the federal government shifted from being a organization serving the needs of its citizens into being a multitrillion dollar business. The people running things, both Rep and Dem, are very wealthy and in many instances, particularly in the White House, are ex-CEOs. They are making national decisions based on profit margin, not for us, but for themselves.

    For example, it's much cheaper to drill Iraqi oil fields than it is to drill offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil reserves in this country are going to be depleted sometime in the near future and the Bushes, and all their cronies, understand full well they will be out of the oil business if they don't position themselves within the Middle East, which is where we'll squeeze the last drop of crude out of this rock we live on.

    This administration has made certain individuals in this country extraordinarily wealthy. There is no way in hell that the people making so much money at taxpayer expense would give that up to something as fickle as a general election. Thankfully, someone's got an eye on them.

  • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:00AM (#14532262) Homepage Journal
    My impression is that the Bush family is the most corrupt family every to have political power in the United States.

    Bush family? Sad to say, Abraham Lincoln was more corrupt than all the Bushes combined. With GW, it isn't considered treason to say that the Gulf War II was wrong. In Abraham Lincoln's regime, it would have been. As unconstitutional as W's wiretapping efforts were, Lincoln wiped his arse with the constitution by suspending it completely.
  • Re:Weak. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:51AM (#14532450) Journal

    Volusia county, enough said. Maybe not because of Jeb Bush, but someone there is pulling a little too hard for the Republicans. Of course, the same thing can be said about Democrats in Ohio, but what do you expect when the two major parties in our country are basically scraping the bottom of the barrel in order to look for candidates? Somebody's gotta make it look like people actually want to vote for these guys.

    Diebold's ineptitude

    See, here's the problem: their secure and successful ATM venture tarnishes their image as "a bunch of inept oafs" as you would, for lack of a better word, "defend" them. "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence" rings hollow when the company has created and deployed a system that has not been broken, and not for lack of being a very juicy target.

    You believe Moore's lies and distortions because you want them to be true.

    As for lies, which ones are you referring to? Bush admitted that he holds hands with saudi leaders, he explained that it was what was expected of him in their society, "when in Rome...". As for Bush's father meeting with the brother of binLaden, that was apparently enough for the Bush administration to "extraordinarily rendition" a Canadian citizen to Syria for over a year. Maher Arar's crime? Well, we don't know exactly, because just like thousands of other people (including at least one American citizen, Padilla) the Bush administration doesn't bother to charge people with crimes or otherwise justify their behavior. But the man does claim to have been interrogated about his employment alongside the brother of a known Syrian terrorist.
  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) < minus caffeine> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:34AM (#14532641) Homepage
    "All that proves is that the screen and the piece of paper say the same thing. How do either of those relate to the actual value recorded as the vote?"

    It doesn't. But the original posters' point was that if there is any suspicion of discrepancies/errors/hacking, the "system" (meaning the whole election process) can fall back on a more traditional/reliable method (paper votes).

    Paper ballots have their own problems, but in general it's a different set of problems than the ones in electronic systems.
  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) < minus caffeine> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:41AM (#14532672) Homepage
    Even at full capacity, it would've taken 10-20 years of taking all of Iraq's oil profits (or it may even have been total net sales...) to pay for the initial cost of the war. Iraq's oil fields aren't running anywhere close to full capacity due to initial damage from the war and constant ongoing damage from insurgent activity.

    Note that by "initial cost", I mean the initial 80-100 billion that Bush requested for the war. What's the price tag up to now? 200b? 300b? It's a hell of a lot more. Plus there's the cost of upgrading/rebuilding Iraq's oil production infrastructure.

    If this was about oil, it was a damned stupid financial decision.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:54AM (#14532754)
    If this was about oil, it was a damned stupid financial decision.

    Yep, fucked the country over good and half of the voting public willingly bent over for another reaming too.

    It wasn't about oil - it was about oil infrastructure. Most of the oilfields in Texas are dry (or too expensive to extract from, even at $70/barrell) but what Texas has a lot of are the companies that build rigs, build pipelines, do geo-petrol exploration, etc. Those companies have made a killing since the Iraqi invasion.
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) * on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:56AM (#14532765)
    > If this was about oil, it was a damned stupid financial decision

    Ah, but you neglect the distinction between who is going to pay for it and who was supposed to profit from it.

    The oil companies were supposed to supposed to benefit from it (by means of the distribution contracts rather than by pwning the oilfields per se), but you and your descendents will be paying for the war, yea unto the seventh generation.

    (Saw a news story somewhere this month about a new estimate of the war's total costs to the USA running to the amount of two trillion dollars. Cheney and his cronies won't be picking up the tab; they're already getting tax breaks on their record profits, while the national debt goes ballistic.)
  • by GIL_Dude ( 850471 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:59AM (#14532785) Homepage
    While government in general is massively inefficient, the true "cost" of your proposal to "rescind" everything (even were it legal) would actually be - no police, no firemen, roads getting crappy even quicker, massive theft and robberies since social programs wouldn't be funded, etc.
  • by Minwee ( 522556 ) <> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @12:09PM (#14532853) Homepage
    I have a slightly more revolutionary idea for a voting machine that involves a pencil, several pieces of paper, a large folded sheet of cardboard that can be used as a booth, and a locked wooden box with a small opening in the top.

    You'll have to wait until the morning after the election to get results, but it's a fair bit more reliable and secure than any electronic system in use today.

  • by Bobzibub ( 20561 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:09PM (#14533159)
    Canada's national election happens to be tomorrow.....

    "All votes are made on the same standard heavy paper ballot which is inserted in a standard cardboard box, furnished by Elections Canada. The ballot and the box are devised to ensure that no one except the elector knows the individual choice that was made. Counting the ballots is done by hand in full view of the representatives of each candidate. There are no mechanical, electrical or electronic systems involved in this process." stem#Non-partisan_election_officers []


  • by Bush Pig ( 175019 ) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @04:12PM (#14534084)
    Daley was a Democrat, not a liberal. "Democrat-Republican" and "liberal-conservative" are orthogonal.

    And yes, he was a supremely corrupt fucker. What's your point?

  • Lincoln had half the country threatening to run off and create their own slave colony. Bush is chasing phantom terrorists around the world on false pretenses. Not even close.
  • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @04:14AM (#14537187)
    As others point out, this isn't corruption at all. How did this get rated insightful? Lincoln took away a lot of rights in wartime, it's true; he even had a yankee anti-war senator sent down to jefferson davis to get him to shut up. But if you look at US history, it was routine to have massive civil liberties violated in wartime, and it still is. It's only recently it occurred to Americans to complain about it (I'm exaggerating a bit of course - there certainly were some voices speaking against wartime repression but not many until the 20th century). It's true Bush is nothing new in this regard; what is new is his absolute arrogance before the rule of law. I'm not sure Lincoln can be accused of that.
  • by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <> on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @12:02AM (#14545975) Homepage
    In Maryland they have had the "late" returns, where the dead were voting to put behind Parris Glendenning over the top and steal the election from Saurbrey (she is now an ambassador).

    No. A handful a fraudulent votes were found in the first Glendening/Sauerbrey contest, but not enough to matter.

    Sauerbrey was an underdog who ran a (from a stickly political-game perspective) very strong campain and almost, but not quite, caught up to Glendening. (Registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans in Maryland, so it was pretty much his race to lose.)

    Her allegations of fraud proved baseless [], and damaged her image enormously. (I'm not saying there weren't irregularities, only that they weren't significant to the final outcome.) In 1998 the Maryland GOP was silly enough to make her their candidate again and she got defeated again.

    (For the record, I didn't vote for either of them either time.)

    What they really need is a secure voting system. One that requires positive identification of the voters, cross checking to make sure they only vote once, a paper trail - with incremental checksums.

    The problem is that a secure system is one that denies access by default. But a democratic (small-d) voting system must allow access to the polls by default.

    I don't understand your reference to checksums.

    Purple dye people's thumbs too.

    It's nobody's business but my own (and the poll workers) whether I've been to the polls or not. Marking people who have voted in a manner that is publically accessible is a bad idea.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato