Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Diebold Quietly Patches Security Flaw in Vote Counting Software | Threat Level | Wired.com

Diebold Quietly Patches Security Flaw in Vote Counting Software | Threat Level | Wired.com:

Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold, has patched a serious security weakness in its election tabulation software used in the majority of states, according to a lab that tested the new version and a federal commission that certified it.

The flaw in the tabulation software was discovered by Wired.com earlier this year, and involved the program’s auditing logs. The logs failed to record significant events occurring on a computer running the software, including the act of someone deleting votes during or after an election. The logs also failed to record who performed an action on the system, and listed some events with the wrong date and timestamps.

A new version of the software does record such events, and includes other security safeguards that would prevent the system from operating if the event log were somehow shut down, according to iBeta Quality Assurance, the Colorado testing lab that examined the software for the federal government.
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IBeta’s report on the Premier system (.pdf) and testing plan offer an interesting and rare look at the testing and certification procedures for voting systems, which until recently were closely guarded secrets.

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