Diebold source code leaked again
Another breach on the e-voting front as elections near
IDG News Service - Source code to Diebold Election Systems Inc. voting machines has been leaked once again.
On Wednesday, former Maryland state legislator Cheryl C. Kagan was anonymously given disks containing source code to Diebold's BallotStation and GEMS (Global Election Management System) tabulation software used in the 2004 elections. Kagan, a well-known critic of electronic voting, is executive director of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in Olney, Md.
The disks were created and distributed by two federal voting machine testing labs run by Ciber Inc. and Wyle Laboratories Inc. They had been testing systems on behalf of the state of Maryland, Diebold said in a statement.
This is not the first time that Diebold source code has been leaked. In early 2003, Diebold critic Bev Harris uncovered similar source code while conducting research using Google Inc.'s search engine.
Soon after, researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Rice University published a damning critique of Diebold's products, based on an analysis of the software.
They found, for example, that it would be easy to program a counterfeit voting card to work with the machines and then use it to cast multiple votes inside the voting booth.
Diebold says it has since introduced security enhancements to its products, but the fact that the company's sensitive source code has again leaked out is not a good sign, according to Avi Rubin, a computer science professor with Johns Hopkins and one of the authors of the 2003 report.
The first leak should have taught Diebold a lesson on securing its source code, he said. "You would think that given the amount of embarrassment that caused them, they would do a better job of protecting it."
Rubin, who was shown the latest source code by a reporter at The Washington Post, said that it appeared to be "just another version" of the code that was published in 2003.
The disks came with a letter that was highly critical of Maryland State Administrator of Elections Linda Lamone, Rubin said on his blog. "It read like it was from somebody with a very, very serious axe to grind," he said. "It was one of the more outlandish things I've read."
Rubin believes the disks were given to Kagan because of her past criticism of electronic voting machines. "I guess whoever did this knew she would pursue it doggedly, which she did."
Diebold said the source code was for BallotStation 4.3.15C, which is no longer being used in the U.S., and for GEMS 1.18.19, which is being used in a "limited number of jurisdictions."
The FBI is investigating the leak, Diebold said.
This state transportation department uses computer science students from a local university as programming interns, and everyone is happy with the arrangement -- until one intern learns how to bring down the mainframe.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Path Selection Infographic
- Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic
- A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era
- From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs
- If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity... All Government IT White Papers
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and...
- All Government IT Webcasts