State of Connecticut Security Procedures

Posted: October 30th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Other Publications | Tags: , , ,

State of Connecticut’s Moderator’s Handbook (2006)


APPENDIX F
Security, Storage & Transportation of Ballots & Tabulators to and from Polls

  1. IMPORTANT REMINDER

    From the time the tabulators, memory card and ballots are received, they should be stored in a locked storage location not generally accessible. A log should be maintained of all persons having access to that storage location. The log should show the names dates times and purposes for all persons having access to that storage location.

  2. Pre-election testing and sealing of memory card & tabulator

    At the conclusion of the pre-election testing of machines, the memory card should be inserted in each tabulator and secured with a numbered seal. That number should be recorded on the pre-election testing report. A copy that report should be given to Town Clerk. The Clerk should give a copy of this report, including the number of the memory card seal number, to the Moderator when she picks up her supplies the day before the election.
    The tabulator should be place in the bag in which it will transported to the polls. A second numbered seal should be attached to the bag. The bag should also have a label identifying the polling place to which it is assigned.

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Security Assessment of the Diebold Optical Scan Voting Terminal

Posted: October 30th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Other Publications | Tags: , , , , , ,

We present an independent security evaluation of the AccuVote Optical Scan voting terminal (AV-OS). We identify a number of new vulnerabilities of this system which, if exploited maliciously, can invalidate the results of an election process utilizing the terminal. Furthermore, based on our findings an AV-OS can be compromised with off-the-shelf equipment in a matter of minutes even if the machine has its removable memory card sealed in place. The basic attack can be applied to effect a variety of results, including entirely neutralizing one candidate so that their votes are not counted, swapping the votes of two candidates, or biasing the results by shifting some votes from one candidate to another. Such vote tabulation corruptions can lay dormant until the election day, thus avoiding detection through pre-election tests.

Based on these findings, we describe new safe-use recommendations for the AV-OS terminal. Specifically, we recommend installation of tamper-resistant seals for (i) removable memory cards, (ii) serial port, (iii) telephone jacks, as well as (iv) screws that allow access into the terminal’s interior; failure to seal any single one of these components renders the terminal susceptible to the attack outlined above. An alternative is to seal the entire Optical Scan system (sans ballot box) into a tamper-resistant container at all times other than preparation for election and deployment in an election. An unbroken chain of custody must be enforced at all times. Post-election audits are also strongly advised.
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