Have You Heard? E-Voting Machines Can Be Hacked

from the shocking,-I-know dept

There have been more than enough stories over the last few years (hell, over the last month) to make you question just how secure and reliable e-voting machines are. So, it should come as no surprise to find out that the voting machines (made by Nedap) used for e-voting in Holland and France are easily hackable. Turns out that anyone with "brief access" to the machines can "control the election results." According to the story, 90% of votes in the Netherlands use these machines, and the election is a month away. Well, at least we know that the US isn't the only country facing this issue. It still makes you wonder, though, why election officials were so eager to get these machines up and running, knowing that there are so many problems with them.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Tricky, 6 Oct 2006 @ 6:20am

    A view from a Dutch Man

    I am Dutch, and I have voted with these machines for years now. That these machines where hackable was no surprise. I'm a computerfreak myself and I know that EVERYTHING can be hacked no matter how much you secure it. But you always assume that the authorities secure such machines in the best ways possible. The group "Wij Vertrouwen Stemcomputers Niet" (We don't trust voting computers) showed that the security is not that good. In fact, there doesn't appear to be any sort of security at all. Anyone able to code machine code could hack a voting computer. No encryption, no unique keys (all the keys are the same and easy to get), and the password to it even appeared to be easy to guess if you are Dutch. How did these machines make it to the voting then? Easy, these machines were manufactured in the 80's, and in that time, there were not so much hackers as there are today. It was just a fast and easy system to get votes counted, and that was all that mattered at those days. Things as spyware, adware, worms, virusses and many things like that were no issue back in those days. Today we know better, and lots of security has been set in place in the comptures we know today. Even an xBox has been manufactured that way that you must be very clever to hack it. The voting computers have never been updated or replaced for that matter. The hardware is still from old times, and it's impossible to upgrade that security in those machines. A complete new voting machine has to be manufactured to get things secured, or secure enough to hold elections with it. As stated in the article above, the elections are only a month away, so it will be impossible to get such a machine manufactured in such a short time. So I suppose the best bet is to go back to the red pencil we used in the old days. Will take a lot more time to count all votes, but it may prevent fraud. Our minister that is responsible for the machines still trust them, has set up a few things to secure the machines more, but I don't believe that'll work. Those measures would work back in the early 80's but not in the year 2006. "Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet" is about to set things right in court. Don't know if that'll help and a month is very short to duel that out in court if you ask me.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.