Computer scientist defends security community stance on e-voting
Aviel Rubin is the professor at the center of the controversy over e-voting security
Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- The computer science professor at the center of the controversy over electronic voting system security told members of Congress yesterday that policymakers made "a mistake" by not conferring with security experts about voting system technologies. And he said that using the systems in November without first fixing the security flaws would be "irresponsible."
Aviel Rubin, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, defended a series of recent studies that outlined significant security vulnerabilities in the current generation of e-voting systems -- and he criticized policymakers for not requiring security audits sooner. Rubin testified before the House Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census.
"I have been disappointed that the policy community did not reach out to the computer security community when making decisions about voting technology, and when my community came to the table, they said it was too late," said Rubin.
In February, Rubin co-authored a controversial paper that outlined major security vulnerabilities in the software powering e-voting systems developed by Diebold Inc. In addition to Rubin's research, three other independent studies have uncovered similar problems and a host of other issues related to the reliability of most electronic voting systems now in use.
"At this point, the failures of current [direct recording equipment voting systems] have been documented in four major studies by leading computer security experts," said Rubin. "Yet computer security experts, myself included, find ourselves routinely referred to as Luddites and conspiracy theorists."
In May, Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, an Arlington, Va.-based association of IT vendor companies, labeled Rubin's research "misleading, at best," and compared his testimony at a hearing of the Election Assistance Commission to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater without cause (see story).
But Rubin has refused to back down, telling members of Congress that in a range of terrible to very good security, today's electronic voting systems "are sitting at terrible.
"Not only have the vendors not implemented security safeguards that are possible, they have not even correctly implemented the ones that are easy," said Rubin.
Terry Jarrett, general counsel to Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt, said the public's concern about the security and integrity of the election process is what prompted his state to certify only those e-voting systems that offered a voter-verifiable paper audit trail.
"At this point in time, Secretary Blunt is convinced that a voter-verified paper ballot is the only paper audit trail that can provide voters with a reasonable assurance that their vote will not be lost, destroyed or otherwise not
- 10 Hot Big Data Startups to Watch
- 11 Unique Uses for Google Glass, Demonstrated by Celebs
- How to Export Your Google Reader Account
- How to Better Engage Millennials (and Why They Aren't Really so Different)
- Telltale signs of ATM skimming
- 20 security and privacy apps for Androids and iPhones
- Big screen con artists: 7 great movies about social engineering
Today, many government agencies – civilian and defense – find themselves in a technology quandary: the volume of data that must be stored is growing rapidly, while shrinking budgets are limiting capital expenditures (i.e. – servers, storage devices, etc.) required to store all of this data.
- 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.
- Federal IT Innovation Caught in a Catch-22
- Fed resources shoring up old infrastructure, holding back new technologies.
- ESG Lab Validation of QLogic's Caching SAN Adapter
- ESG details the results of their testing of QLogic's new 10000 Series 8Gb Fibre Channel Adapter with a focus on scalable database performance...
- Deliver Customer Value with Big Data Analytics
- Big Data requires that companies adopt a different method in understanding today's consumer. Read this white paper to learn why Big Data is...
- Cloud Analytics for the Masses
- Learn the best practices in building applications that can leverage volume, variety and velocity of Big Data for organizations of any size.
- An Interactive eGuide: DDoS Attacks
- In today's world, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on organizations are becoming more prevalent. The number of attacks are increasingly annually with... All Government IT White Papers
- 3 Reasons Why Sepaton is the World's Fastest Backup Solution
- Leading analyst, Storage Switzerland learns how Sepaton backs up and deduplicates massive data volumes while maintaining the industry's fastest performance - all in...
- Virtustream (Vayence) video taking a 3000-Seat SAP Environment to the Cloud
- How can public cloud services help your organization reduce costs and increase security for your mission
- Williams & Fudge on Transforming IT with EMC
- Watch Williams & Fudge Data Center Director Phillip Reynolds discuss why this accounts receivable management firm turned to EMC.
- The Success Network: Driving Business Forward
- The communications and connectivity infrastructure of your organization is the focus of this KnowledgeVault Exchange, sponsored by Comcast Business.
- Advanced Voice Solutions for Your Business
- How can hosted business class voice services help mid-sized business be more agile, competitive and ready for growth? All Government IT Webcasts