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Argonne Researchers 'hack' Diebold E-Voting System

By Computerworld

September 30, 2011

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Argonne National Laboratory researchers recently demonstrated how the Diebold Accuvote TS machine can be hacked using inexpensive, widely available electronic components.

The researchers, led by Roger Johnston, were able to flip votes on the Diebold machine using about $25 worth of equipment and little technical expertise. They inserted a man-in-the-middle electronic component to intercept the vote cast by a voter and change it before it is recorded by the system.

Once installed, the component can be controlled remotely from a distance of up to half a mile using a store-bought remote control. Johnston says the Diebold machines are easy to tamper with because all of the crucial electronic components are accessible and can be easily modified. He says the experiment demonstrates that e-voting systems are susceptible to more than just cyberattacks.

The man-in-the-middle attacks do not require knowledge of the voting machine's proprietary software or hardware, Johnston notes.

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