Friday, October 06, 2006

Dutch Voting Computer Easily Compromised

In the Dutch television show "Een Vandaag" the we-don't-trust-voting-computers foundation demonstrated how to hack a Dutch voting computer to steal a pre-determined percentage of votes and reassign them to another party. This shouldn't really come as a shock, since similar problems have occurred and questions have been raised in for instance the USA and Ireland.

Earlier an episode of the television show "Radar" caused the SP party to ask the Minister of Internal Affairs questions about this. Minister Pechtold answered, however, that he didn't see any reasons not to trust the voting computers. Don't you get outraged by this?

In my opinion the real problem is here the use of security through obscurity, and the myth that this is safe. For me it is just another example of a drawback of closed source. If open source would have been used, such obvious flaws would have been found way before. Who can say for sure that our past elections haven't been manipulated? Can our government please wake up?!

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At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Bodewes said...

The problem is not in the software (that is closed) but in the fact that the software can be replaced easily. (be means of a chip) The machines are stored unprotected and can easily be accessed by anyone. E few screws protect the chip (and its software)

A quick solution would be to place the chips (with software) seconds before the votings starts and to store the chips with the correct software in a fault.

Making the voting software opensource wouldn't solve this problem.

At 2:09 AM, Blogger Georg Muntingh said...

He Martijn,

Thanks a lot for your correction and explanation. I guess I was a jumping to conclusions here, because I got annoyed when I read the news and immediately started writing the blog post. I still believe that if the whole voting process would be more transparant, then this would have been found much earlier.


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