03 September 2010

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Watch the Video Proving India's Electronic Voting Machines are Vulnerable to Fraud By Hari Prasad, Rop Gonggrijp J. Alex Halderman

Watch the Video Proving India's Electronic Voting Machines are Vulnerable to Fraud By Hari Prasad, Rop Gonggrijp J. Alex Halderman

Reality views by sm –
Friday, September 03, 2010

Read More - Hari Prasad charged with EVM theft

Researcher Hari Prasad is he a thief or real hero of India who opened the eyes of India? India's EVM are Vulnerable to Fraud.

Below is the video (transcript) – and below transcript watch the video.

Hari Prasad, Rop Gonggrijp J. Alex Halderman

IndiaEVM.org ---

Indian election authorities have repeatedly claimed that the nation's
electronic voting machines are tamper-proof, but in this video, security
researchers demonstrate several ways that criminals could tamper with
the machines to steal votes and change the outcome of elections. These
attacks would be very difficult to detect, but they are actually quite
simple. Probably a million people in India have the necessary skills.

[title: "The Problem with Electronic Voting"]

Imagine going to the polls and being given a ballot. After filling it
out, you are shown a brand new "Electronic" Voting Machine that consists
of a large box with a curtain. There is a man behind the curtain, and
when you approach, he snatches your ballot. He then shreds it into
pieces and tells you, you have voted. When the polls close and counting
time comes, the man behind the curtain hands over a piece of paper on
which he has kept an honest count...or so he claims.

Electronic voting machines are no more trustworthy than a stranger
behind a curtain. We will show you several ways that they could cheat.

India is the worlds largest democracy, and for about a decade, nearly
all votes have been cast on electronic voting machines, or E-V-Ms.
They consist a "Control Unit" used by poll workers and a "Ballot Unit"
inside the polling booth. There is a single race, and the Ballot Unit
has one button for each candidate.

[title: "Simulated Election"]

Let's run a small election using a real EVM.

When a voter arrives, poll workers press this button to allow one vote.

The voter then presses the button for their candidate, and the vote is

Let's give each candidate three votes.

[title: "The Count"]

Later, the votes are read from the EVMs during a public counting
session. When workers press a button, the machine displays the number
of votes for each candidate.

The display shows that candidate 1 wins with 7 votes. Something is
wrong--that number was supposed to be 3. Somehow, one vote has been
stolen from each of the other candidates.

Now we'll open the machine and show you how we tampered with it. Until
now, Indian election officials haven't let voters see inside.

The EVM contains a simple computer, with a processor and memory to store

[title: "The Dishonest Display"]

We made the machine cheat by tampering with the hardware. Before our
demo election, we opened the machine and replaced the real display with
this dishonest look-alike version, which lies about the election
results. As you can see, the two displays look nearly identical.

We built our version in a few weeks from parts costing just a few
dollars. Under the displays, we hid a small chip that replaces the real
results with dishonest ones, and a Bluetooth radio that lets us
wirelessly signal who should win. Criminals could install a dishonest
display at any time before the votes are counted, possibly years before
the election.

[title: "Memory Manipulations"]

Here's a second way criminals could cheat. They could also change votes
while the machines are stored, between the election and the public
counting session. To prove this, we built a small vote stealing tool. It
has a dial to select the winning candidate, and it clips directly to the
memory chips that store the votes in the EVM. The attacker just attaches
it momentarily and it rewrites the votes. This attack leaves no traces
and makes sure our favorite candidate wins.

[tite: "The Secret Software"]

Another alarming problem is that the software that counts the votes is
stored in chips that are designed so that the software cannot be read
back out. That means not even the Election Commission of India--India's
highest election authority--can verify that the correct software is in
the EVMs.

Yet the software in the chips could be dishonest---or the real chips
could be replaced by dishonest look-alikes---and nobody could tell.

Meanwhile, experts for the Election Commission of India seem to think
that the fact that nobody can verify the software actually makes the
EVMs more secure.

Prof. P.V. Indiresan, chairman, expert committee: "The program itself is
frozen. It cannot be entered, it cannot be read. Even the BEL and ECIL
cannot read what is in the code."

Remember the man behind the curtain? What if that unreadable code is

Indian elections employ safeguards against fraud, but this does not
prevent our attacks.

One safeguard is that poll workers perform a small mock election to test
the machine before voting starts. However, it would be easy to program a
dishonest machine so that it cheats only after hundreds of votes are
cast. Everything would seem normal during the mock election, but the
real election results would be dishonest.

Another safeguard is that election officials place seals on various
parts of the machine. Yet these seals are easy to tamper with---most
consist of a sticker, or a piece of string and some red wax. Scientists
don't really know how to make seals that cannot be cheaply faked or
tampered with, even in applications such as nuclear facilities.
Low-tech voting machine seals are an extremely weak defense.

People also point out that the order of the candidates is not determined
until a few weeks before voting. This is believed to limit the amount of
time an attacker has to manipulate the machines.

But remember the Bluetooth radio on our dishonest display? Either at the
polling stations or at the counting session, a mobile phone with a
special application can be used to tell the display which candidate
should win.

You have witnessed attacks that can change election results on real EVMs
in real scenarios. We believe this settles the debate. India's EVMs can
be tampered with to steal votes.

Paperless electronic voting systems are never transparent and are
inherently insecure. The use of paperless EVMs has been discontinued in
California, Florida, Ireland, The Netherlands and Germany. India would
be wise to follow suit.

Watch video - India's EVMs are Vulnerable to Fraud

2nd video Full video
This video shows the dishonest display attack as a single take, without any editing or splicing. The entire demonstration takes about ten minutes

Source and Credits –


Bikram September 03, 2010  

well in india whistle blowers always get harassed no mater what.. Thanks for bringing it out

sm,  September 03, 2010  

yes i agree with you this is just start, future will see more and more crimes against them and us.

Latha Nair September 04, 2010  

Dishonest manipulators can always be
one step ahead of the law-enforcers.
Even in a technologically advanced
country like the US, EVMs are not
in popular use. But India seems to
be determined to continue using EVMs.

sm,  September 04, 2010  

Latha Nair,,
We can not compare USA with India.
we need EVM otherwise booth capturing and forceful voting happens with the help of police or in their presence.
we need to improve and correct the EVM machines.

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