Thursday, September 23, 2004

Hack the Vote - Chimp helps Chimp win by cheating

Surprise, Surprise! Fox News no less brings us this story about how easy it is to manipulate the electonic vote tally. You know if a chimp can do it a chimp will do it.

Hack Effort Called 'Monkey Business'

Critics of the Diebold (search) touch-screen voting machines turned their attention Wednesday from the machines themselves to the computers that will tally the final vote, saying the outcome is so easy to manipulate that even a monkey could do it.

And they showed video of a monkey hacking the system to prove it.

In the minute-long video produced by Black Box Voting (search), Baxter the chimp is shown deleting the audit log that is supposed to keep track of changes in the Diebold central tabulator, the computer and program that keeps track of county vote totals.

Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris said the demonstration shows that the system — which will be used in more than 30 states, including Maryland — is dangerously inadequate when it comes to stopping election fraud.

But a Diebold spokesman insisted that the system is secure despite "incessant" criticism from organizations such as Black Box Voting.

"The fact of the matter is what you saw was a staged production ... analogous to a magic show," said David Bear, the Diebold spokesman.

Even if the system could be hacked, he said, it could only be done by a person with "unfettered access to the system." Bear noted that elections are not just the machines, but also the people who work the elections.