E-Voting Machine an Easy Hack

Associated Press 14:00 PM Sep, 14, 2006

A Princeton University computer science professor has added new fuel to claims that electronic voting machines used across much of the country are vulnerable to hacking that could alter vote totals or disable machines.

In a paper posted on the university’s website, Edward Felten and two graduate students described how they had tested a Diebold AccuVote-TS machine they obtained, found ways to quickly upload malicious programs and even developed a computer virus able to spread such programs between machines.

The marketing director for the machine’s maker — Diebold Election Systems of Allen, Texas — blasted the report, saying Felten ignored newer software and security measures that prevent such hacking.

“I’m concerned by the fact we weren’t contacted to educate these people on where our current technology stands,” Mark Radke said. He also questioned why Felten hadn’t submitted his paper for peer review, as is commonly done before publishing scientific research.

Felten said he and his colleagues felt it necessary to publish the paper as quickly as possible because of the possible implications for the November midterm elections.

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