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Dutch government orders reforms in response to hacked voting machines

Evan Blass
October 15, 2006
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Even though the issue of electronic voting security has yet to be taken seriously in the United States (we're looking at you, Diebold), the Dutch government appears to be very concerned about the shenanigans that hackers recently pulled with one of Nedap/Groenendaal's old-school machines, and has taken several steps to ensure that the equipment is as hack-proof as possible prior to the November 22nd national elections. According to a translated article on the site Nu.nl, officials have ordered Nedap to double-check every single terminal, replace all of the weak software, and install unflashable firmware so that the simple "Diebold memory hack" can't be replicated in the Netherlands. Furthermore, all of the machines will be retrofitted with an iron seal that will presumably prevent unnoticeable access to their innards, and two additional independent checks will be performed to add another layer of redundancy: a certification institute will make sure that Nedap has performed all of the necessary upgrades, and the machines will be spot-checked for accuracy once again on election day. Finally, the Dutch intelligence service AIVD will reportedly look into the RF emissions that enable snoopers to wirelessly establish a vote tally, although it doesn't sound like the inquiry will have any immediate effect on this gaping security hole. Despite these changes and increased oversight, though, it seems that the voting group responsible for the original hacks is still not confident that all of the problems have been solved; we certainly see their point, however, we'd suggest that a government that at least acknowledges and makes moves to alleviate these serious concerns is already far more progressive than one that seems to be waiting around for an e-voting "Enron" before taking the initiative to sort out this significant threat to the democratic process.

[Via Slashdot]



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