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
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you think getting it right from day one is always what matters, you probably haven't been following technology too closely.
- 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.
- Mitigating DDoS Attacks with F5 Technology
- This document examines various DDoS attack methods and the application of specific ADC technologies to block attacks in the DDoS threat spectrum while...
- The DDoS Threat Spectrum
- Bolstered by favorable economics, today's global botnets are using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to target firewalls, web services, and applications, often simultaneously.
- Defending Against Denial of Service Attacks
- By utilizing end-user interviews, this whitepaper explores a deeper understanding of DDoS defense plans and reveals the knowledge gaps around the Denial of...
- Strategic Solutions for Government IT
- This paper outlines why F5 is the optimum partner to help achieve the levels of security, performance and availability that are vital to...
- Osterman White Paper: The Need for Enterprise-Grade File Transfer
- Key trends in file transfer All Government IT White Papers
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- The Power of the Citrix Mobility Solution, XenMobile Does everything become a smartphone? Or does the smartphone begin to do everything? How can we afford to support BYOD? Rather, how can...
- BYOD Happens: How to Secure Mobility How to navigate the journey of securing mobility, including the BYOD corruption of IT, the top ten mobility strategies, and the mobility management...
- Fighting Fraud Videos: IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager Short videos about IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager (IIM) for Fraud. IIM optimizes the investigation of fraud for customers across many industries in both...
- IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager: Online Product Demo Intelligent Investigation Manager optimizes fraud investigation and analysis and it dynamically coordinates and reports on cases, provides analysis and visualization, and enables more...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 20, 2013.