Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Diebold! Die! (It's German, For "The bold! The!")

Posted by codemorse

From Daily Kos:

On Wednesday we did a live demo for our Princeton Computer Science colleagues of the vote-stealing software described in our paper and video. Afterward, Chris Tengi, a technical staff member, asked to look at the key that came with the voting machine. He noticed an alphanumeric code printed on the key, and remarked that he had a key at home with the same code on it. The next day he brought in his key and sure enough it opened the voting machine.

This seemed like a freakish coincidence -- until we learned how common these keys are.

Chris's key was left over from a previous job, maybe fifteen years ago. He said the key had opened either a file cabinet or the access panel on an old VAX computer. A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes, and hotel minibars.

It's a standard part, and like most standard parts it's easily purchased on the Internet. We bought several keys from an office furniture key shop -- they open the voting machine too. We ordered another key on eBay from a jukebox supply shop...

The future of democracy - any drunk with a minibar key can make a difference!


At 11:51 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...


At 8:58 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

I'd go so far as to say "Yoikes."

Seriously - the future of our democracy is in the hands of any person with a minibar masterkey.

Anyone who suggests that this development is coincidental should be checked for implants.


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