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Heads-up!! "IT" Begins! Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland!

 
Pollyannuh
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10/20/2006 07:34 PM
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Heads-up!! "IT" Begins! Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland!
Maryland and where else???

bushchit, all bushchit....are we going to see yet another stolen election in November????

Grrrrrrrr..........


thwak

[link to www.truthout.org]

Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland
By Cameron W. Barr
The Washington Post

Friday 20 October 2006

Ex-delegate says FBI contacted her about disks she received.
The FBI is investigating the possible theft of software developed by the nation's leading maker of electronic voting equipment, said a former Maryland legislator who this week received three computer disks that apparently contain key portions of programs created by Diebold Election Systems.

Cheryl C. Kagan, a former Democratic delegate who has long questioned the security of electronic voting systems, said the disks were delivered anonymously to her office in Olney on Tuesday and that the FBI contacted her yesterday. The package contained an unsigned letter critical of Maryland State Board of Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone that said the disks were "right from SBE" and had been "accidentally picked up."

Lamone's deputy, Ross Goldstein, said "they were not our disks," but he acknowledged that the software was used in Maryland in the 2004 elections. Diebold said in a statement last night that it had never created or received the disks.

The disks bear the logos of two testing companies that send such disks to the Maryland board after using the software to conduct tests on Diebold equipment. A Ciber Inc. spokeswoman said the disks had not come from Ciber, and Wyle Laboratories Inc. said it was not missing any disks.

Diebold spokesman Mark Radke and Goldstein said that the labels on the disks referred to versions of the software that are no longer in use in Maryland, although the Diebold statement said the version of one program apparently stored on the disks is still in use in "a limited number of jurisdictions" and is protected by encryption. The statement also said the FBI is investigating the disks' chain of custody.

Michelle Crnkovich, an FBI spokeswoman in Baltimore, said she had no knowledge of an investigation.

In an unrelated development, Maryland state auditors said in a report yesterday that the State Board of Elections is not properly controlling access to a new statewide database of registered voters or verifying what changes are made to it. The report comes at a time of heightened concern over the security and effectiveness of electronic voting systems.

Legislative auditor Bruce Myers said it was unusual to allow "across-the-board access" by local election officials to a sensitive database, but Lamone defended the board's practices. In a letter released with the Office of Legislative Audits report, she wrote that the board "is unaware of any allegations of the falsification of additions or deletions to the system."

The FBI investigation into the disks could focus further scrutiny on the security of Maryland's electronic voting system.

The disks delivered to Kagan's office bear labels indicating that they hold "source code" - the instructions that constitute the core of a software program - for Diebold's Ballot Station and Global Election Management System (GEMS) programs. The former guides the operation of the company's touch-screen voting machines; the latter is in part a tabulation program used to tally votes after an election.

Three years ago, Diebold was embarrassed when an activist obtained some of its confidential software by searching the Internet. The company vowed to improve its security procedures to prevent another lapse.

The release of such software poses a risk, computer scientists say, because it could allow someone to discover security vulnerabilities or to write a virus that could be used to manipulate election results.

In September, computer scientists at Princeton University who had obtained a Diebold voting machine demonstrated how a program they had created could secretly alter the votes cast on the machine. Diebold President Dave Byrd called the demonstration "unrealistic and inaccurate" and said it ignored the "physical security" measures used to safeguard voting machines.

The Washington Post obtained copies of the disks Wednesday and allowed Avi Rubin, a computer scientist at Johns Hopkins University, along with a colleague and a graduate student, to review the software on the condition that they make no copies of it.

"I would be stunned if it's not real," Rubin said.

Rubin, who has said that electronic voting systems that do not produce a paper record of each vote cannot be secured, led a team that produced an analysis that pointed out security vulnerabilities in the Diebold software found on the Internet in 2003.

Sam Small, the graduate student, said the version of Ballot Station "was consistent with what we've seen previously." Small could not gain access to the GEMS software because the material on two of the disks was protected by a password.

Radke, the Diebold spokesman, said the versions of Ballot Station released since the version identified on the disks have many new security features. The Diebold statement said "it would take years for a knowledgeable scientist" to break the encryption used on the software apparently contained on the disks delivered to Kagan. But Rubin said "the data and files were not encrypted" on the Ballot Station disk he reviewed.

The Office of Legislative Audits report also said the Maryland elections board has paid bills submitted by contractors without proper documentation and has not taken appropriate steps to safeguard its computer network and Web site.

Lamone said, "It seems inappropriate to base findings on a partially implemented system," referring to the new MDVOTERS database, which Maryland has established to comply with federal law.

She said it is appropriate for local election workers to have access to the database and said procedures are in place to verify changes. Lamone concurred with the auditors' criticism of her staff's accounting practices and said they had "obtained nearly all necessary documentation" for contractors' bills.

Providing the sort of local oversight envisioned by the auditors, she said, "simply cannot be conducted with existing resources."



-------------------------------------------------------------​-------------------
Staff writer Eric Rich contributed to this report.
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Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 07:40 PM
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Re: Heads-up!! "IT" Begins! Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland!
more maryland news...hmmmm.

does this mean there will be no election due to no machines for voting?
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 07:45 PM
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Re: Heads-up!! "IT" Begins! Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland!
Maryland and where else???

bushchit, all bushchit....are we going to see yet another stolen election in November????

Grrrrrrrr..........

-------
 Quoting: Pollyannuh


Does a bear shit in the woods??

Does a crack head love crack??

Is light a product of the sun??

answere these ridles and you will have your answere.
Pollyannuh (OP)

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10/20/2006 07:51 PM
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Re: Heads-up!! "IT" Begins! Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland!
Can't wave the red flag enough.

As strong as the sentiment is against bush, the sham war in Iraq, the corruption in Congress, all the trashing of our Constitution, the invasion of our privacy and every other piece of bushchit this administration has put out, we're still in danger of losing this election in November.

The final tally will tell the tale.
paladin

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10/20/2006 08:17 PM
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Re: Heads-up!! "IT" Begins! Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland!
hey Polly..


great post..

you know I have an eye on this topic


HBO will air something on this
Pollyannuh (OP)

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10/20/2006 08:44 PM
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Re: Heads-up!! "IT" Begins! Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland!
Hey, Paladin!

hugs

If you catch the name of the HBO show, or when it's scheduled to be on, please let me know, post it to the board, too.

I'm hoping it's an expose`.

Thanks!



hey Polly..


great post..

you know I have an eye on this topic


HBO will air something on this
 Quoting: paladin
paladin

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10/20/2006 08:56 PM
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Re: Heads-up!! "IT" Begins! Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland!
there on the first page....


[link to godlikeproductions.com]
Pollyannuh (OP)

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10/21/2006 09:25 AM
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Re: Heads-up!! "IT" Begins! Officials Probing Possible Theft of Voting Software in Maryland!
WOW, Paladin! I'll be sending this around everywhere!

Thanks!

From your link:


HBO to Premier 'Hacking Democracy' Just Prior to November Election!
Quote

HBO to Premier 'Hacking Democracy' Just Prior to November Election!


Landmark Documentary Will Feature Exclusive Footage of First Known Hack of Diebold Optical-Scan Voting System!
Investigative E-Voting Fraud Film — Three Years in the Making —

to Debut on Cable Channel Nov. 2nd!

Think things have gotten bad for Diebold and friends? Something tells us they're about to get a whole lot worse.

HBO has just announced that they will be debuting Hacking Democracy, the long-awaited documentary film by Simon Ardizzone, Robert Carrillo Cohen and Russell Michaels, on November 2nd — just days before millions of Americans will head to the polls to use all-new untested, inaccurate, hackable, electronic voting systems for the first time.

The BRAD BLOG received the first press release issued by HBO on this film late yesterday; it's posted in full at the end of this item.

We've yet to see the final version of the eagerly anticipated film (though we're told a screener is headed our way) but we've spent hours of time in conversation over the last year or two with both Michaels and Cohen as the pieces — and the evidence — were coming together.

We're told there are some remarkably damaging revelations to be seen — and heard — in the film, which includes not just interviews with Elections Officials, Computer Scientists, Security Experts, and Diebold Spokesliars, but loads of on-the-scene, first-hand documentary footage of some of the most remarkable and stunning moments during the long road of discovery in the E-Voting Revolution Scam that's been perpetrated on American democracy before, during and since the 2004 Election.

The investigative film, nearly three years in the making, is said to lay out a devasting case against E-voting in general, and Diebold in particular. The film, previously known as VoterGate, was released on the Internet in a very short, barebones "Presidential Election Special" just prior to the 2004 Election. At the time, that early, quickly compiled version — which was jaw-dropping in and of itself — followed the early stages of investigations into electronic voting machine fraud, vulnerabilities, and malfunction by Bev Harris and the late Andy Stephenson of BlackBoxVoting.org.

The earlier clips were released for free on the Internet in 2004 when the filmmakers felt they had already acquired so much important footage that they felt a responsibility to do something with it before the Presidential Election.

But as remarkable as the revelations of that short version were, that was then and this is now: some two years, miles of footage, and at least two or more actual demonstrated voting machine hacks later. The now-retitled film includes scores of fresh never-before-seen interviews, damning statements, and documents, and culminates in one of the most devasting moments in E-voting's short and sordid history: The Leon County Florida Hack, by computer security expert Harri Hursti, of a Diebold optical-scan voting machine in December of 2005.

The filmmakers were there for that watershed moment when the legendary Supervisor of Elections in Leon County, Ion Sancho, allowed independent computer security experts the opportunity to try and hack his paper-based Diebold optical scan voting system. The result was a flipped mock election, with no trace of the hack left behind, save for the paper ballots (which, in Florida, are now illegal to examine by hand after they have already been counted by a machine.)

Diebold said it couldn't be done. Diebold, apparently, lied.

That hack resulted in shockwaves across the national electoral landscape as it revealed the very real consequences of what had, up until then, been a largely theoretical fear about the vulnerability of electronic voting machines to malicious tampering.

An election had now been flipped for the first time on an actual voting system, this one a paper-based Diebold model. The touch-screen systems, we would later learn, are even more vulnerable.

The Leon County Hack will be seen, as it occured, for the first time when HBO premiers the film just days before this November's general election, when millions of Americans will be using those same new, hackable, optical-scan and touch-screen voting systems made by Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S, Hart InterCivic, and others for the first time.

It's about to get much worse, indeed. We hope to have more on Hacking America in the coming days.



[link to www.bradblog.com]


there on the first page....


[link to godlikeproductions.com]
 Quoting: paladin

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