How secure are electronic voting…

How secure are electronic voting machines?

As a computer programmer, I can see how voting machine software could be tweaked to do whatever you might want done. Combine that with super secret voting machine companies and their refusal to make their code or procedures public… Well, it seems the system could easily be gamed. Open source software could be a solution.

“People have jumped on the electronic voting bandwagon, thinking that will solve the problems,” said Avi Rubin, a technology security expert and researcher at AT&T Labs in New Jersey. “But these systems are largely untested.”

The problem, say critics, is that the software which runs the machines is proprietary, and therefore not open to public scrutiny. Without scientists being able to freely analyze the systems, election officials may be leaving themselves open to the possibility of hacking, vote tampering or incorrect calculations. <Or  having traps and tricks in the programming itself>

Rubin believes some of that money would be well-spent on new, more robust systems that could be developed if the 20 or so electronic voting vendors are mandated to share data. By adopting “open source” standards, the software could be fortified against hackers and malfunctions, Rubin said.

“The philosophy of open source is that it’s more likely to expose whatever problems there are,” he said. “If you keep it closed, an attacker may find a vulnerability and you won’t have the opportunity to detect.”

But manufacturers disagree, saying that making their code public will make their systems more prone to hacking <Not so. If that were true then open source Linux would be less secure than Windows, which is proprietary. In fact, Linux is vastly more secure than Windows>

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