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Doug Jones Response to Diebold Response to Princeton Examination of Diebold Voting Machines

Princeton Study of Diebold Voting Machines

Diebold Election Systems Response to the Princeton University AccuVote-TS Analysis
Diebold Contact Info: Mark Radke of Diebold Election Systems, 330-490-6633

Computer Scientist Doug Jones is funded by the National Science Foundation to study voting systems as part of project ACCURATE.

Diebold says:

> A virus was introduced to a machine that is never attached to a network.

Doug Jones says:

This response dodges the question, expressing a complete misunderstanding of the nature of viruses by implying that viruses are irrelevant if there is no network. First, viruses originally emerged as a threat in the era of the Apple ][ personal computer, where they were spread on floppy disks that were hand carried between machines. What matters, clearly, is the presence of communication, not wires. Communication by hand carried disks, or PCMCIA cards, creates an environment in which the possibility of viruses is worthy of investigation.

Diebold says:

> The current generation AccuVote-TS software - software that is used today on AccuVote-TS units in the United States - has the most advanced security features, including Advanced Encryption Standard 128 bit data encryption, Digitally Signed memory card data, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) data encryption for transmitted results, dynamic passwords, and more.

Doug Jones says:

Diebold has not released to the public sufficient information to allow an assessment of the competence with which these measures were applied. As a result, we cannot determine whether these are applied in an effective way, or whether they are as ineffective as the use of DES was back in 1997.

Diebold says:

> In addition to this extensive security, the report all but ignores physical security and election procedures. Every local jurisdiction secures its voting machines - every voting machine, not just electronic machines. Electronic machines are secured with security tape and numbered security seals that would reveal any sign of tampering.

Doug Jones says:

See Avi Rubin's report. See the report from Cleveland on the frequency with which these measures were used effectively. See Ed Felton's comments on the denial of service attack that security seals offer. I commented on the same with regard to the ES&S iVotronic in my comments on the pre-election tests in Miami in 2004.

If you take seals seriously, you must inventory seal numbers at the time applied and insist on recording the seal numbers at the time they are broken. Auditors must routinely check that these records are properly maintained, and any seal found broken should disqualify the machine it is attached to. Jurisdictions don't do this, and the seals being used are so flimsy that if they did, someone could shut down a polling place by careful use of their thumbnail. In sum, the use of seals, as it is being done now, is about cosmetics, not about security.

Diebold says:

> Secure voting equipment, proper procedures and adequate testing > assure an accurate voting process that has been confirmed through numerous, stringent accuracy tests and third party security > analysis.

Doug Jones says:

Diebold owes the public a list of the third party security analyses that have found their system to be secure. None of the analyses I'm aware of drew positive conclusions. Certainly the redacted SAIC study, and the Compuware study, and the Raba study all found major flaws. I've spoken with authors of the Raba study who were livid about the way Diebold lobbied them during the writing of their report to soften the wording, and then misrepresented the results in their public relations campaign that followed. The SAIC study is still not available in unredacted form. Does this mean that it still documents weaknesses that have yet to be corrected?

Diebold says:

> Every voter in every local jurisdiction that uses the AccuVote-TS should feel secure knowing that their vote will count on Election Day.

Doug Jones says:

Indeed. I agree completely. They --should-- feel secure. Or at least, that is what we owe them. I wish we could follow through on that promise.

Doug Jones
jones@cs.uiowa.edu