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Dutch Blackbox Voting Pwned 353

Posted by kdawson
from the playing-chess-at-the-polls dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "In a just-published report (PDF, in English, cached here), the Dutch we-don't-trust-voting-computers foundation (Dutch and English) details how it converted a Nedap voting machine, of a type used in Holland and France, to steal a pre-determined percentage of votes and reassign them to another party. The paper describes in great detail how 'anyone, when given brief access to the devices at any time before the election, can gain complete and virtually undetectable control over the election results.' As a funny bonus, responding to an earlier challenge by the manufacturer, the researchers reflashed a voting machine to play chess. The news was on national television (Dutch) last night and is growing into a major scandal. 90% of the votes in the Netherlands are cast on these machines and national elections will be held in a month." Please create mirrors for the 8.1-MB PDF and post their URLs. You might also try John Graham-Cumming's l8r.org service to tell you when the slashdot effect subsides from any of the mirrors.
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Dutch Blackbox Voting Pwned

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  • by should_be_linear (779431) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:01AM (#16320559)
    Most popular party in Holland is Jon Lech Johansen's "DVD Party"
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:01AM (#16320561) Journal
    We, the authors of this paper, are part of a growing group of computer experts that opposes the use of electronic voting technology that is built in such a way that the outcome of an election is not voter-verifiable. We believe public elections are pointless unless people have the right and the meaningful possibility to verify that that their votes are counted correctly. We further strongly believe that trade secrets, secret computer programs and secret test reports have absolutely no place in any democratic election.
    (emphasis mine)

    I would first like to say that I admire your diligence in this matter and gratefully appreciate the work and effort you have put forth to protect the votes of many people the world over including my own.

    Secondly, I would like to point out that, although you are a group of experts/scientists, I have witnessed concerns based on science go unheeded by politics--at least in the United States. I hope it is different in other countries, but I have seen a large organization of scientists from all walks of life oppose some of the current administration's actions here with little or no effect on the populace.

    Whether this is because people still view scientists as nerds or outcasts of society, I cannot comment on. I only want to make it known--at least on Slashdot--that I support what you're doing and am amazed at the work contained in this PDF. I am more so amazed that someone was kind enough to take the time to translate it to English.

    I hope your efforts are met with international recognition as being a champion of voting security--although I fear the reality is you may be criticized and possibly even sued.

    My favorite criticism listed in the PDF:
    By adding extra security measures against the over-emphasized threat posed by outsiders, one can actually increase the risk posed by insiders.
    After reading a bit of the PDF, I must say that the only thing I don't like is that there is no clear solution offered aside from allusions to opening up the process and technology on how all of this works so that it can be scrutinized. It is pointed out that Security by Obscurity is not the best route ... ever. This is good criticism but it's never explored whether or not we could dream up a scheme that would be protected.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fruey (563914)
      I second your thoughts, a voting system should be open. Any secret ballot voting system is flawed. Manual voting (pregnant chads, anyone?) is also fraught with errors and open for abuse. Cases of dead people voting, multiple votes, and ballot stuffing have plagued democratic history. Computer voting may make things better, but only if an open system can be found where, like you so rightly quote : the right and the meaningful possibility to verify that that their votes are counted correctly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AndersOSU (873247)
        When you say, "Any secret ballot voting system is flawed." Are you implying that making everyone's vote public, or having a vote receipt, would be a better solution. If so, I can't disagree more. Sure we wouldn't have the same problems, but we would have a whole host of at least equally serious different problems. Vote buying, intimidation, and ostracizing immediately spring to mind.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by inKubus (199753)
          Here's my solution. It's low tech but just might work:

          You have mechanical counters behind a curtain. At the end of the curtain is a turnstile. When you walk out of the turnstile, it allows one increment of a counter per group (a group is a race or issue). At the other side of the curtain you have a large group of people monitoring the count. The numbers are large enough to read. Through closed circuit television, there is a live feed to the central counting facility as well as to regional TV. Also a f
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hcdejong (561314)
      I am more so amazed that someone was kind enough to take the time to translate it to English.

      a minor point: The report was written in English; not written in Dutch and then translated. Some of the writers don't speak Dutch.
    • by hcdejong (561314)
      After reading a bit of the PDF, I must say that the only thing I don't like is that there is no clear solution offered aside from allusions to opening up the process and technology on how all of this works so that it can be scrutinized. It is pointed out that Security by Obscurity is not the best route ... ever. This is good criticism but it's never explored whether or not we could dream up a scheme that would be protected.

      A valid point. To be fair, though, the report has been rushed a bit in view of the up
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by shadwstalkr (111149)
      Whether this is because people still view scientists as nerds or outcasts of society, I cannot comment on.

      I can only speak to the situation in the United States; I hope it's different in other parts of the world. I think it's due to a growing feeling by the average person that scientists and academics are a condescending, intellectual elite. The situation is exacerbated by the crumbling foundations of science education, the general lack of emphasis on critical thinking in primary schools, and wholesale re
  • Can someone do this in the US please? The only way the US public pays attention to things like this is if there is a scandal.

    These things clearly need to be critically looked at.
  • "Pwned"?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rearden82 (923468) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:03AM (#16320583)
    What the fuck is "Pwned"? I thought this was a news site, not an AOL chatroom.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by stunt_penguin (906223)
      O RLY?
    • I thought this was a news site, not an AOL chatroom.

      Where did you get that idea?

    • by xtracto (837672)
      I wish I had modpoints to mod you up. I have seen that all the replies to your post try to justify the use of the (word?) but I believe its use is worse than people may believe.

      See, slashdot is a place where people *could* look at "the other side" of the coin about news, and at least read a bit of a more informed comments (in the sense of technology). But what other people will see when they look at google news is this [google.com]. And from my point of view that does not seems very informative.

      I can pass that the su
    • Re:"Pwned"?! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:56AM (#16321491) Homepage
      > What the fuck is "Pwned"? I thought this was a > news site, not an AOL chatroom.

      Corruption of 'owned'. Someone made a typo, and the typo became popular. (Guess this says something about AOL, or /., when typos become more popular than correct spellings.)

      BTW, your question garnered 8 smartass replies, not one of them containing this answer. Come on, people, if you need to be wiseacres, at least answer the original question!
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by D4rk Fx (862399)
        You sure [wned all those other replies...
      • by wytcld (179112)
        Did it become popular because it looks also like "Pawned" - that is, made a pawn of?
      • Corruption of 'owned'. Someone made a typo, and the typo became popular. (Guess this says something about AOL, or /., when typos become more popular than correct spellings.)

        'Pwned' may have started as a typo, but it's now a full-fledged word with a different meaning than 'owned'. Compare:
        I owned that car. (That car used to be mine, before I sold it)
        I pwned that car. (We were racing, and I left it way behind)

        First there was the slang word "ownage", which means dominance, and is

    • I hate it when people misspell pwnz0r3d.
    • by autophile (640621)
      I think "pwned" or even "0wnz0rd" has come into geek-speak due to its humorous value, rather then genuinely trying to sound 133t. I'm sure there are better words to describe "(verb transitive, past tense) Gained access and control over, sometimes for malicious purposes, sometimes to prove a point".

      --Rob

  • Mirror (Score:4, Informative)

    by PktLoss (647983) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:03AM (#16320589) Homepage Journal
    here's a mirror, good luck fair server
    http://www.preinheimer.com/dump/Es3b-en.pdf [preinheimer.com]

  • Yeeeeaarrrrgggghhhhh!!! Avast Mateys!! We'll be needin' to get some of these here votin' machines fer the next elec-shun!! We'll teach those scurvy dawgs a thing or two... Arrrrrr!!!

  • here [nyud.net] (primed).
  • Here's a mirror ( added by email :)

    http://www.testcompany.com/archive/October2006-40/ 2212.html [testcompany.com]
  • create mirrors? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Speare (84249) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:12AM (#16320733) Homepage Journal

    Hrm, funny, every time we complain that slashdot should go through the process of automating a simple mirror process to avoid hammering an unsuspecting server into rubble, all the "editors" go pointing at the FAQ as some sort of ironclad reasoning against doing so. But here we have an "editor" instructing the readership to do slashdot's work for them. This all just points to the fact that OSTG will pay the bandwidth bills if it means ad revenue, but doesn't want to actually foot the bill to use their server complex for disseminating information.

    • .. which, if you can do it (and apparantly they can), and want to make more money (well, obvious), is only logical..

      I mean, you're still reading slashdot, I'm still reading slashdot, and the fact that this whole slashdot effect exists means that a helluva lot of other people are also still reading slashdot..

    • That's not funny! That's not funny at all!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Red Flayer (890720)

      But here we have an "editor" instructing the readership to do slashdot's work for them.

      Erm, I'm sorry, where does it state that it is Slashdot's job to mirror linked sites and documents?

      I think you're viewing Slashdot as a content provider, which is not what it is -- at its most basic level, it's a content indexer. The whole point of Slashdot (IMO) is the community -- it's the community discussion that I log in for, and it's the community who can choose to help out linked sites by creating and posting mir

  • by BeeBeard (999187) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:17AM (#16320823)
    I've been keeping tabs on the Diebold stories coming from U.S. news sources, and it's not like the Diebold problems have been kept secret. Nevertheless, many Americans have reacted to the information with a collective yawn.

    So here we have a similar set of circumstances--only the nation at risk has really changed--and the Dutch appear to be fighting mad over this. What gives?
    • by kidtwist (726601) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:28AM (#16321001)
      Don't bother me with this stuff, "Dancing with the Stars" is on.
      • That's not "funny" (well, okay, it is), it's a succinctly insightful response to the question.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rolfwind (528248)
        Sadly, that may not be a bad idea, there would be more public outrage if the diebold scandal was linked to fraudulent votes on American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, etcetera.
    • by miro2 (222748) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:30AM (#16321031)
      The problem is that the stories on this in America are generally technical and involve complicated recommendations for "open source" systems with "paper trails." Thats too difficult to keep anyone's attention. America pays attention when it gets Sensation and Scandal! We absolutely need someone in the United States to hack a Diebold machine into changing its votes and demonstrate how they can do that in a quick and easy way when they have access to the machine. If it can be turned into a 2-minute feature on a news station (with enlarged graphics showing the vote totals changing LIVE) it will become big news.
      • by cluckshot (658931)

        There is an audit of various voting software going on for one Major Northeastern US State. (Data withheld deliberately - I might know a whole lot more than I am telling right now. - Major hint!) The audit consists of checking the software for technical issues like commenting. It will be presented to the voters as the software meets standards for the voting machines. The implied value will be that the machines are proper and accurate for voting.

        Draw your own conclusions ...

    • by MagicM (85041)
      One big reason may be that the Diebold problems haven't been very prominent in the type of media that the average American consumes. This problem with the Dutch computers was featured on national tv, during prime time, on what would be considered "basic cable". Maybe if "60 minutes" covered it there would be a difference, although since only 15 million people [usatoday.com] watch 60 minutes, and there are 300 million people in the USA [census.gov], I doubt it.

      Also, since the Netherlands is very densely populated, if someone missed t
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by syphax (189065)

      Because in the US we need sex in a political story to catch peoples' attention?

      The Dutch, I think they have all the access to sex they could ever want (if they so desire), so their minds are free to pay attention to issues that matter.

      Not that inaction over the behavior of a pedophile who happens to serve in Congress doesn't matter...
      • Not that inaction over the behavior of a pedophile who happens to serve in Congress doesn't matter...


        Close, but you missed a bit. It's a drunk, GAY, pedophile who happens to serve in Congress.

    • * sigh * (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Khammurabi (962376)

      I've been keeping tabs on the Diebold stories coming from U.S. news sources, and it's not like the Diebold problems have been kept secret. Nevertheless, many Americans have reacted to the information with a collective yawn.

      That's because most of the Diebold problems are theoretical at this point. Someone COULD do all these nasty things and steal elections. Until we have some PROOF that someone stole an election from us using these machines, Americans will do what they always do, change the channel and

    • What gives?

      The Dutch apparently believe that their votes count for something, while the American people recognize that the entire election process was Pwned by the Republicrat and Democrian parties long ago, and that the people's votes have no real effect on what kind of candidate gets elected -- hence the abysmal turn-out on election day in this country.

      For democracy to work, people have to believe in it. If people see the same sort of scum repeatedly get elected to office, while the party machinery preve
    • by k98sven (324383) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @11:13AM (#16321777) Journal
      So here we have a similar set of circumstances--only the nation at risk has really changed--and the Dutch appear to be fighting mad over this. What gives?


      Yup, same thing.. [princeton.edu] but the question? Good question.

      The obvious answer is that they're freedom-hating socialists. :)

      But seriously? It's the culture. The Netherlands and the Nordic countries are about the same like this. Big on democracy, accountability, transparency, highly intolerant of corruption, etc.

      In the end, it's basically a self-fulfilling thing, really. People trust the system --> therefore they have low tolerance for corruption --> get very pissed when it happens --> therefore they have low corruption --> therefore they trust the system.

      It's not just faith in the Government itself, but to all the institutions, and the parliament, etc. And there's a lot less political polarization. Of course part of the latter is due to the multi-party system. I used to be agnostic on which system was better, but now I'm pretty convinced that the many-party parliamentary system is superior to the US system.

      In particular the President has just too much power and it's emphasized too much as well. And too much negative power - the Veto is too strong, and the constitution is (IMHO) too hard to amend. I don't think the Founding Fathers would have done it the same way if they'd anticipated there'd be another 37 states. This is of course heresey - which is another problem; Not only is it hard to change, but there's a strong disinclination against doing so since it's been raised almost to the status of some kind of Holy Scripture. With the Founding Fathers as some kind of prophets. Every dang constitutional debate is always in terms of "What did the F.Fs intend?"*. There's just too little impetus.

      (*Damnit, I'll tell you what they wanted: They wanted a democracy based on ideas of critical reason. They sure as heck didn't want to be elevated to the status of unquestionable demigods.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        I don't think the Founding Fathers would have done it the same way if they'd anticipated there'd be another 37 states.

        Or if they'd anticipated 820k people per Member of the House instead of 30k. That's where the accountability really drops off for the legislative branch.

        They sure as heck didn't want to be elevated to the status of unquestionable demigods.

        I find this statement very funny, sorry -- because ascribing them such a humble perspective across-the-board does kind of elevate them to that status.

      • the constitution is (IMHO) too hard to amend.

        Have you seen any of the constitutional amendments they've been trying to pass lately? Have you seen how close some of the anti-freedom votes have been? I'd frankly feel safer if the amendment process required modern politicians to build a time machine and get John Hancock's signature first.
  • The TV-show link in the main article goes to a preview. The full show is at http://player.omroep.nl/?aflID=3355684&md5=e83e151 c120fb91b83739b61fda939e6 [omroep.nl]
  • by Heem (448667)
    Did we seriously just use "Pwned" in a headline for a serious news story?

  • what we need is simplicity when it comes to voting, not complexity. i believe we should never go to electronic voting, and even get rid of mechanical voting booths, which has a sordid history of tampering

    of course you can do fraud scams with simple paper ballots too: lose them for entire districts, stuff the boxes with fake votes, etc. but any more complexity in the voting system doesn't remove these scams, it just adds a new layer of possible scams

    fraud happens in all forms of voting mechanisms, and voting is just too much of an important and vulnerable part of our social cohesion and the source of so much faith in and integrity of our government. being so vital and vulnerable, the point in my mind would be to oversimplify the voting process on purpose. the more complex the system, the more points of failure and the more possibilities of fraud. so make the process very simple: paper ballots

    i mean seriously, why the technophilia? voting is a problem that is not solved better with more technology, just made more complex. paper ballots, period, end of story, for all time. the slashdots crowd of any crowd of people should know all about the various and sordid ways malfeasance can be achieved in electronic communication and electronic storage. voting is not a complex math problem. it's very simple. no computer need apply

    electronic voting can be a downright scary prospect. don't mess with it, simplify it, which means avoiding computers in the voting process like the plague. i'm not a luddite, i am simply saying that specifically in reference to the voting process, it must be simplified technologically to ensure faith and integrity in our government

    because people already doubt enough about how much their vote counts. why give them yet another paranoid schizophrenic reason for them to think their vote doesn't count/ doesn't matter ("it doesn't matter man, it's all in the computer, and they just change the votes to whatever they want them to be man")

    bottom line: faith and integrity in our government is far more of an important issue than any speed of transmission/ tabulation. no electronic voting. no mechanical voting. paper ballots only. of course malfeasance can still occur with paper ballots. but with more complex systems, you only add more points for manipulation. this is not a luddite's point of view. i am as much a technophile as the next slashdotter. i just have an appreciation for the limits of technology's ability to solve problems, and that for some limited subset of problems, due to malfeasance and the potential for it, more technology need not apply. voting is such a problem

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Peter Simpson (112887)
      Completely agree. In my small town, we use Diebold AccuVote optical scanners, but the actual voting documents are paper ballots, marked with a black felt pen. Therefore, if there is ever any question as to the accuracy of the "AccuVote" totals, we can do some good, old fashioned ballot counting by hand.

      As an engineer, it's annoying to me when politicians attempt to equate "spiffy touchscreen machine with lots of features" with an improvement in the voting process. The voting process in this country is ju
    • How then do you suggest that we handle voters with accessibility needs? If I'm blind, how will I get to vote independently and privately? Why is it that someone who has normal vision gets that right, but I (if I'm blind) do not?

      For all the stupidity that surrounds it, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) at least tries to address the fact that a large percentage of Americans have been denied a basic right in voting since... well, since we started counting votes.

      Come up with a way to handle this without technolo
  • FIELD / SERVICE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by achurch (201270) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:24AM (#16320941) Homepage
    From the PDF:

    4.3 Maintenance mode: "GEHEIM"

    The ISS software has a `maintenance mode' that is supposed to be only accessible to members of the "verkiezingswacht", the Nedap election-day helpdesk. You need a password to get the software in this mode. A quick look in the binary revealed this password to be "GEHEIM", the Dutch word for "SECRET".

    Hello? Did someone not get the memo about secure passwords? Or better yet, no default passwords at all? Granted, physical access makes the point rather moot, but if this is the kind of security the designer had in mind, it looks like they can give Diebold a run for their money . . .

  • by Aqua_boy17 (962670) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:26AM (#16320973)
    Okay, we in the US all know that there's not enough time before November elections to fix this. So I have a very simple solution. First we ban the sale of all flash memory for 7 days prior to the elections. Second, we put gigantic super-electromagnetic field generators in the doorways of all the polling places. This way we can ensure that any potential election fraudsters that try to smuggle in memory cards will find them wiped out when they open the Diebold machines with their hotel bar keys.

    Of course, anyone else walking through the door stands to have their ATM and credit cards wiped out, but hey, it's a small price to pay for Democracy, don't you think.

    For the severely humor-impaired, the above is intended as a joke and in no way reflects the author's actual thoughts on this matter.
  • I was going to check out what they had to say about it. They also released a press statement about the dust being kicked up:

    Kan de Nedap stemmachine gemanipuleerd worden?
    Alles is te manipuleren.

    Can the Nedap voting machine be manipulated?
    Everything can be manipulated

    Is de Nedap stemmachine beveiligd tegen moedwillige manipulatie?
    Ja. Tegen iedere nieuwe bedreiging worden maatregelen genomen.

    Is the Nedap voting machine secured against manipulation
    Yes. Against every new threat measures are taken

    Kan de uitslag
    • If you make 1000's of people vote for a person by putting a gun against their head, you have succesfully manipulated the election.

      That's why voting is secret. If you can't verify what people voted (and those people know for sure that you can't verify it), holding a gun against their head doesn't help much: They can claim to have voted the way you told them, and still vote different. You have no chance to proof individually that they didn't vote your way.
  • by FellowConspirator (882908) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @10:36AM (#16321109)
    I was attempting to explain this to someone the other day. You don't need to alter the votes after the fact, though that may be easier. All you need is a good statistical guess (say, a poll by the local newspaper). Given that, you calculate the skew necessary for a candidate to win. Then, you simply tell the machine to randomly record a vote for person X as a vote for person Y every a certain percentage of the time. You only need to do this in specific areas where the races are close, concede a loss in areas where the skew would be too large, and presume victory in areas where the bias is for your candidate.

    In the US, you could steal an election with a small software update on a small percentage of the machines. The tallies would all add up and most of the votes counted would reflect the votes cast -- but just enough wouldn't to skew the ultimate result. The only hint you would have something was wrong would be a minor but crucial deviation between exit poll results and the official count.

    It makes for a good simulation for students to put together to see just how simple it is to do.
    • by morie (227571)
      In The Netherlands, all votes are added. Therefore, it would not make a difference where you skew the votes. You can even do it in a district that would be a sure winner for your candidate anyway, and be even more unsuspicious (because they win as predicted, just by a bigger vote).

      In the US or any district-system, things would be as you describe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by seibed (30057)
      FellowConspirator said:
      minor but crucial deviation between exit poll results and the official count.
      You mean kind of like we had in the last election in certain critical counties/states? wow. what a coincidence.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by darkmeridian (119044)
      Did you read the Rolling Stone article about how the exit polls in the 2004 US Presidential Election were skewed from the actual election number? Someone already beat you to the punch.

      "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" [rollingstone.com]
  • by Teun (17872)
    Am I as a Dutch computer literate person worried?

    Not really, the weaknesses presented can only be exploited on a per-machine basis and there are some 8000 of them.
    Of course on longer term these machines need to be replaced by a inherently secure system.

    What I find more worrying is the closed source software running the machines and tallying the results, this has to be replaced by an open source system that can be checked by any one.

    Dutch elections are simple, just a single vote per citizen and the requi

    • by ReinoutS (1919)

      What I find more worrying is the closed source software running the machines and tallying the results, this has to be replaced by an open source system that can be checked by any one.

      Just "open sourcing" the voting machine code would create a false sense of security. How would you know that the binary code running the machine is compiled from the source code you inspected? And even if it is, you'd still have no guarantee that the compiler itself wasn't tampered with.

  • From their site:
    Q: Can the results of the Nedap voting machine be manipulated?
    A: Much more difficult than with "paper" elections

    The system we had in place for paper elections wasn't perfect. But it was at least nontrivial to change more than one vote at a time. These machines were introduced because they're convenient and because they eliminate counting errors, not because they were more secure than paper ballots.
  • So you want to use an electronic voting machine. Why not have it also print out a paper record for each vote? Have the paper printout slide into a non-accessible, yet viewable window for the voter to approve/disapprove. If it's approved, it gets dropped into the mix. If not, it is shuttled into a junk pile and they re-cast.

    You've now got your e-voting tallying votes quickly, and the paper trail should there be doubt cast upon the results.
  • Also used in Ireland (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ryano (2112) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @11:06AM (#16321667) Homepage

    As well as being used in Holland and France, thousands of these NEDAP machines were bought by the Irish government with a view to replacing our paper election system with electronic voting. They had been used in a few pilot constituencies, and were due to be rolled out nationwide for the 2004 local and European elections. Luckily, determined lobbying by computer professionals (Irish Citizens for Trustworthy E-Voting [cs.may.ie]) and others forced the Government to set up an independent Commission on Electronic Voting [www.cev.ie], who decided that they couldn't stand over the use of the machines without further testing.

    Interestingly enough, these Dutch hackers used the First Report of the Commission on Electronic Voting [www.cev.ie] to glean a lot of the technical details about the machines.

    The most recent report of the Commission (July 2006 [www.cev.ie]) concluded that the machines needed some modification but were basically okay, but that the software used to manage an election was basically a joke and should be scrapped. The Government tried to use this as vindication of their actions in procuring the system, even though they had been perfectly willing to let a nationwide election go ahead with dodgy software.

    Even that fig-leaf of respectibility has now been removed, and I expect that the Government will soon be moving the machines out of their costly storage facilities, and into the nearest recycling centre. As the Dutch hackers showed that they could be used to play chess, perhaps an amusement arcade will take them off their hands.

    Lots of info at the Irish Citizens for Trustworthy E-Voting site linked above, including a discussion list archive which has covered every imaginable angle on E-Voting.

  • they can't open it with a minibar key..
    • Re:Well at least.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ryano (2112) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @11:29AM (#16322045) Homepage

      "they can't open it with a minibar key.."

      Don't be so sure...

      From their report (the PDF linked above):

      The key system chosen by Nedap for both the locks on the voting computer is the "C&K YL Series 4 Tumbler Camlock". This lock always comes with the same key (marked "A126"), which probably explains why the same key is used on all 8000 ES3B machines throughout The Netherlands. Spare keys can be ordered separately online for roughly a Euro each by searching for the product number: 115140126. We ordered, payed for and were subsequently supplied with 100 of these keys without any problem. According to the product datasheet3, typical applications for this lock include "copy machines and office furniture". Even if spare keys were not so readily available: this is quite literally the type of lock we can open with a bent paperclip.

      The reader unit has, as stipulated by law, a lock with a different key for the slot marked 'programming' (it is marked "A154"), which is used to erase the ballot memory modules and to write new candidate lists to the modules. The key is of the same insecure type and the we expect it to also be the same all over the country.
  • ... saying:

    "Geez - if I'd known how easy it is, I coulda saved myself a BUNDLE on campaign expenses!"
  • Nedaps reaction (Score:3, Informative)

    by mverwijs (815917) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @11:10AM (#16321737) Homepage
    Reactie op TV uitzending Een Vandaag
    In de uitzending "Een Vandaag" op 4 oktober werd uitgebreid aandacht besteed aan de Nedap stemmachine, en dan met name aan de werking van deze machine.
    Het viel ons op dat aangetoond werd dat de machine uitstekend werkt. De stemmachine doet precies wat opgedragen wordt. Dit werd overigens ook door alle betrokkenen verwacht en bevestigd.
    Op grond hiervan concluderen wij dat door de naam van de stichting "Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet" de machine onrecht wordt aangedaan.
    Beter zou het zijn geweest als de oprichters van de stichting de naam "Wij vertrouwen mensen niet" hadden gekozen.

    Translation:

    Reaction on the TV showing Een Vandaag
    In the show "Een Vandaag" on october 4th, there was a lot of focus on the Nedap votingmachine, and in particular how this machine works.
    What we noticed was that it showed this machine works excellent. The votingmachine does exactly what it is told. This was also expected and confirmed by all parties involved.
    On these grounds we conclude that the name of the foundation "We Don't Trust Votingmachines" does the machine injustice. It would have been better if the founders of the foundation had given it the name "We Don't Trust People".
  • Maybe The Netherlands should become the next state of the USA - it already has the necessary e-voting infrastructure :-)
  • Here's my mirror of the PDF:

    http://www.koschfamily.com/tekrat/mirror/Es3b-en.p df [koschfamily.com]

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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