With EVM how fraud proof our Election process is?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ajtr, May 24, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    US scientists hack into India's EVMs, expose flaws


    NEW YORK: India’s electronic voting machines (EVMs) with chips made in Japan and the US were designed to stop fraud and accelerate the voting process, but computer scientists say these paperless machines are vulnerable to fraud. Professor J Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan and his computer science students say they were able to hack into the EVMs to manipulate results.

    Halderman, who led the seven-month research project, with a security researcher from the Netherlands and Hyderabad’s NetIndia, said a home-made device allowed them to change results on anEVM by sending it wireless messages from a mobile phone.

    “Almost every component of this system could be attacked to manipulate election results,” said Halderman. “This proves, once again, that the paperless class of voting systems has intrinsic security problems. It is hard to envision systems like this being used responsibly in elections.”

    A video on the Internet by the researchers shows two kinds of attacks. One attack involves replacing a small part of theEVM with a look-alike component that can be silently instructed to steal a percentage of votes in favour of a candidate. The instructions can be sent from a mobile phone.

    “Our lookalike display board intercepts the vote totals that the machine is trying to display and replaces them with dishonest totals — basically whatever the bad guy wants to show up at the end of the election,” Halderman told reporters.

    Another attack uses a pocket-sized microprocessor to change the votes stored in theEVMs between the election and the public counting session, which in India can be weeks later.

    India uses roughly 1.4 millionEVMs in 829,000 polling stations in a general election and they are of the direct recording electronic (DRE) variety. TheEVMs record votes to the machine’s internal memory and provide no paper records for any recount. The researchers said that with DRE machines too much “absolute trust” is placed in the hardware and software of theEVMs.

    Rop Gonggrijp, a security researcher from the Netherlands, who participated in the study, slammed the paperless electronic voting system. “The research shows the longstanding scientific consensus holds true — DRE voting machines are fundamentally vulnerable.

    The machines have been abandoned in Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Florida and many other places. India should follow suit,” he said. The researchers have offered to share their findings with India’s Election Commission.
     
    Oracle likes this.
  2.  
  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    India's EVMs are Vulnerable to Fraud

    Contrary to claims by Indian election authorities, the paperless electronic voting systems used in India suffer from significant vulnerabilities. Even brief access to the machines could allow criminals to alter election results.

    In this video, we demonstrate two kinds of attacks against a real Indian EVM. One attack involves replacing a small part of the machine with a look-alike component that can be silently instructed to steal a percentage of the votes in favor of a chosen candidate. These instructions can be sent wirelessly from a mobile phone. Another attack uses a pocket-sized device to change the votes stored in the EVM between the election and the public counting session, which in India can be weeks later.

    These attacks are neither complicated nor difficult to perform, but they would be hard to detect or defend against. The best way to prevent them is to count votes using paper ballots that voters can see.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Kalpesh Sharma LIVE EVM TEST


    Kalpesh Sharma LIVE EVM TEST for 100 million Indian public citizens and BJP and all political parties who have been cheated this time in elections.

    http://www.shubhlabhtechnologies.com comedy acting casting audition director producer production telefilm serial direction casting director cast kalpesh sharma shubhlabh technologies online marketing seo, sem, smo internet advertising web designing web development hacking expert hacker IT Security evm bjp electronic voting machine rss vhp elections election commission in india evm bjp political news sangh parivar rss vhp advani vajpayee narendra modi exclusive breaking voting voters machines cheating with indian citizens tampering











     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    can some one plz translate the gist of what said in this video.....

    Tv9 - Is there still a loophole in EVM? - Part 1





     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Electronic Voting Machines is created in wake of elections in 2009 in India that raised concerns of fraud. It shows how other countries rejected EVMs and provides suggestions to make elections in India fair.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    EVM tampering

    October 13, 2009: Assembly Election in Arunachal Pradesh. Repoll was ordered in two polling stations in otherwise peaceful Ziro. Reason - tampering of electronic voting machine which was started in India with much fanfare some years back.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    EVM TAMPERING LIVE TELECAST BY KAMYAB TV ON DATED 02/08/2009

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Political hype bugs anti-EVM champ


    The man who first raised the possibility of rigging EVMs with the Election Commission unhappy over the issue getting politicised

    Lakshmi Iyer
    Posted On Tuesday, July 07, 2009 at 08:42:48 PM

    Omesh Saigal was the first person to take up the issue of manupulating Electronic Voting Machines with the Election Commission of India after the Lok Sabha polls results were announced.

    But now he suddenly finds that the entire political class has hijacked his ‘Banish the EVM’ plank.This former Delhi Chief Secretary, who passed out from IIT, Kharagpur, in 1962, wrote a detailed letter on June 30 to Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla about the possibility of rigging the EVMs.

    He now rues the fact that leaders of all political hues - from senior BJP leader L K Advani to CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yeachury and RJD chief Lalu Prasad - have jumped into the anti-EVM bandwagon.

    Review of EVM

    True, the day Advani had endorsed a review of EVM as a tool for casting votes, Saigal was on major TV networks explaining how it was possible to rig a poll by bugging the EVM software. He is the only one to have done a scientific study on the process of rigging EVMs.

    “I had written a letter to the EC on the subject before Advani raised it. It became news. But with politcal parties throwing their lot in this debate, I now see little scope for a scientific way of examining the process of rigging via EVM. Navin Chawla, a former colleague of mine in Delhi Government, was willing to examine the issue. Now it has become such a hot potato, the EC will not consider it,” regretted Saigal.

    Call from Advani

    Asked whether he had met Advani, Saigal said, “His office called me for a copy of my complaint to the the EC which I handed to them. That’s all.”

    Saigal is not new to public campaigns. His NGO, Society for Catalysts, has been spearheading the movement against the recent DDA-flat allotment scam. But then what drew him to take up the EVM issue?

    “I have been tracking the use of EVMs since 2004 when they were introduced throughout the country. I was very intrigued by the West Delhi Lok Sabha result. Before that, the Delhi assembly election results in 2008. That’s when I thought, I must investigate. A group of us, ex-IITians decided to probe this purely out of academic interest,” he said.

    Letter to EC

    In his letter to the EC, the 68-year-old Saigal raised questions about the violibility of EVM machines. The machines, though, exclusively manufactured by the two PSUs, BEL and ECIL, outsourced their software to a private vendor.

    “We were shocked when we learnt from the website of the BEL that both the PSUs were outsourcing the production of software. They, however, keep the source code a secret, even from the Election Commison. The details of the manufacturer are not shared with the public,” he said.

    Cong & EVM contracts

    A BJP National Executive Member said, “At the risk of sounding like a bad loser, I would like to point out that it is no coincidence that software firms that have bagged EVM maintenance contracts, both in Delhi and Andhra, belong to Congress MPs.”

    Acccording to Saigal, the PSUs manufacturing EVMs should be more transparent. “The PSUs must come out with details about who they are outsourcing the EVMs for software and maintenance. This is crucial to restore credibility in elections,” he said.

    Saigal’s Mock Poll Test

    To back his charge of software manipulation, Saigal conducted a mock poll on a laptop with the help of an IT expert. The mock poll was conducted in the presence of a select group of seven retired bureaucrats who attested the statement to the EC.

    The ex-bureaucrat offered to demonstrate the mock poll before the EC. In his letter to the EC, Saigal suggested that since it was not physically possible to verify all the 11 lakh plus EVMs used in the last elections, they could do a random check of about 10,000 machines in 78 constituencies, where candidates have won by a margin of 15,000 votes.

    “And this audit should be done before assembly elections are held in Maharashtra and Haryana, later this year” he said.

    “That fraud in EVMs is possible is a well-documented fact abroad. There is considerable scepticism about e-voting in advanced democracies abroad. Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany and the US have scrapped the computerised system of voting in favour of the ballot paper,” Saigal said.
     
    Oracle and A.V. like this.
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    EVM tampering: Congress leader moves High Court


    RSS


    KalingaTimes Correspondent
    Cuttack, July 8: Congress leader Alok Jena has moved the Odisha High Court challenging the outcome of the recent polls with regard to the Bhubaneswar Central Assembly constituency.

    In a petition filed on June 29, Jena has prayed to the Court to declare the election of Biju Janata Dal nominee Bijay Kumar Mohanty as null and void.

    Jena, who lost the Assembly election that was held in the month April, has reportedly alleged in his petition that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) that were used for polling in the constituency were tampered at the instance of the ruling BJD.

    On the day of counting, Jena had lodged a complaint in this regard to the Chief Electoral Officer of the State as well as the Election Observer.

    The petitioner had also alleged that several EVMs that were used in the polling were replaced by other machines before the counting of votes. The administrative machinery was grossly misused to help the BJD candidate win the election, he had alleged on the counting day.

    Jena's petition is likely to come up for hearing shortly. More than six other similar petitions have also filed in the High Court mainly by Congress leaders who had lost the elections.

    Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had also told media in Bhubaneswar last month that many of the party candidates who lost the recent Assembly and Lok Sabha polls had alleged that EVMs were tampered in their constituencies to ensure their defeat.
     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    EVM’s can be tampered, 'proves' Hyderabad's engineer


    Nagpur As the debate on reliability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) is going on, an election watch-dog and an NGO from Hyderabad demonstrated 'tampering' of EVMs and claimed that these machines could be easily manipulated.
    Explaining the possibilities of manipulations and insertions of pre-programmed chips, Hari K Prasad of NetIndia and the NGO Election Group's Convenor V V Rao said the chips are imported from Japan and there is a possibility of giving 60 per cent of total votes polled through the EVMs by one particular candidate (party) if the chips are programmed in such a manner.

    Elaborating his point, Prasad told a gathering including reporters that in such a case, the first 10 voters who cast their votes can be the basis of manipulations. The particular party will get 60 per cent votes by manipulations as per the programme, they added.

    The only way for making tamper-proof use of EVMs is using a verification tool which the EVM manufacturing companies should bring in.

    Moreover, there should an automatic slip coming out immediately after the vote is cast like the transaction slip which bank ATMs gives after the use, he said.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    EVMs: Are they giving us right verdicts?​


    BHUBANESWAR, 12 JULY: The raging debate over manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) across the country establishes the fact that people do not trust the machine, and more so, in a backward state like Orissa.
    Hence and until and unless there is public acceptance one should not impose it said speakers at a seminar organised by Orissa Jan Sammelan here today.
    Majority of the speakers and the audience firmly believed that EVMs are not tamper proof. In fact when Mr Rabi Das, convener of the Sammelan, tried to sum up saying the legitimacy of the 2009 elections is not being questioned, several people in the audience strongly objected and grilled him.
    Mr P Satpathy, who had contested the Assembly elections as an Independent candidate said he and eight of his family members had cast vote in one booth where he secured only four votes. I had at least 800 committed workers and I got over 469 votes, he submitted questioning the credibility of the machines. “It is not jan mata but jantra mata and it is manipulated,” he alleged. Mr Satpathy pointed out that the BJP candidates in a particular region including the three from Bhubaneswar had secured 11,000 votes and all Independent candidates 500 votes. It was as if people had decided a ceiling on the number of votes. The vast difference between results of elections held in the first phase and the second phase, the unprecedented victory margin in Assembly constituencies were other aspects raised in the seminar to raise doubts. While Mr Satpathy drew loud cheers from the audience, former chief secretary Mr Rabinarayan Das suggested that a committee of experts need to probe into the use and functioning of EVMs.
    Mr Das felt it would be proper to impose President Rule six months prior to elections to prevent the party in power from influencing officers through postings and making populist announcements.
    He cited instances of how officers shunted out by the Election Commission of India were re-posted as soon as elections were over. If a public servant is found unfit by the Commission how is it that he or she gets the same post after election, he questioned. Letters and articles written by experts including former chief secretary, Mr Umesh Saigal, former Union minister Mr Subramanium Swamy on tampering of EVMs were read out to the audience.
    Software expert, Mr LN Panda deliberated on the configuration of the machine and said it was possible to introduce an additional programme or virus to manipulate EVMs.
    The existing programme cannot be changed or tampered but certainly a virus or additional programme can be introduced in the machine. Theoretically, one can manipulate EVMs and it is not tamper proof, he said. Professor P Singh, a physicist, felt that people of the country, given its literacy level and ignorance were not ready to accept a EVM. “Public acceptance is sovereign and hence it should be discarded. Why should any self respecting voter go to the booth and confront a machine of which he or she knows nothing at all. Why should he or she ask the officials present in the booth as to what he should do,” questioned the professor. It was pointed out that some of the defeated candidates had already moved the Orissa High Court in this regard.
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    EVM is not tamper-free & needs rectification : Swamy to Delhi HC


    New Delhi: Janata Party president Subramanium Swamy today contended before the Delhi high court that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) is not tamper-free and it needs rectification to ensure free and fair elections. Appearing before a Bench headed by the acting chief justice Madan B Lokur, Swamy said EVMs should not be used without paper receipts.

    Swamy contested the Election Commission's claim that EVMs were tamper-proof, claiming it has been proved wrong.

    The former MP said EC's refusal to entertain his request for the dual system forced him to approach the court for its intervention in the matter.

    He said that EVM is not a unique instrument as claimed by the Commission since Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, who have developed the machines, have withdrawn the application for patent before the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

    The court after hearing his arguments adjourned the matter for April 14 as he sought time to place some more documents before it.
     
  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Dr Dill Letter to Election Commission of India Regarding EVM Vulnerability against fraud


    Dr. David L. Dill
    Professor of Computer Science
    Stanford University
    Gates Bldg Rm 344
    Stanford, CA 94305-9030
    Office: (650) 725-3642
    Fax: (650) 725-6949
    [email protected]
    February 3, 2010
    Mr. Navin Chawla
    Chief Election Commissioner
    Election Commission of India
    Nirvachan Sadan
    Ashoka Road, New Delhi 110001
    I am writing this letter at the request of Satya Dosapati from the Save Indian Democracy Organization with regard to the ongoing debate on the usage of EVMs in India. I am an American computer science professor who has spent significant time over the last six years on policy issues in electronic voting. During that time, I have founded two organizations, testified before the U.S. Senate, and appeared in several nationally distributed news shows and documentaries. I would like to share with you some facts and conclusions I have come to during that work.
    An important function of elections is to establish the legitimacy of the elected officials in the eyes of the public. Skeptical, untrusting observers should be able to see that election results are correct. It is not sufficient for election results to be accurate; the public must know that the results are accurate. Civil society is damaged if elections are not credible, even when fraud cannot be demonstrated.
    In traditional elections, paper ballots contribute to election credibility because voters can ensure that their votes have been properly recorded (when they write them on the ballot), and poll workers and observers at the polling place can ensure that ballots are not changed, added or removed after being deposited in the ballot box. In contrast, purely electronic voting machines do not allow voters to verify that their votes have been accurately recorded, and do not allow observers to witness that the ballots have not been tampered with. Electronic voting machines provide no evidence during or after the election to convince a skeptic that the election results are accurate.
    It is not clear that this situation would be acceptable even if electronic voting machines could be guaranteed to be accurate and honest. But such assurances are well beyond the current state of computer technology. It is not practical to design fully error-free and reliable computing equipment. More importantly, it is not feasible to prevent malicious changes to the machines' hardware or software. Computers are especially vulnerable to malicious changes by insiders
    such as designers, programmers, manufacturers, maintenance technicians, etc. Indeed, it is not known how to build trustworthy paperless electronic voting systems even using extreme security measures. Of course, these problems are magnified enormously when the design of the machines is held secret from independent reviewers.
    I understand that the argument has been raised in India that the EVMs are safe because they are not connected to a network. All of the concerns I raise apply to non-networked machines, since voting machines in the U.S. are also never connected to the Internet. For example, a manufacturer or technician can maliciously change the software or hardware on a machine whether it is connected to a network or not.
    With current technology, the only trustworthy voting methods are those that allow individual voters to verify that their votes have been properly recorded on a paper ballot. In the United States, most voting systems rely on paper ballots that are filled out directly by the voters, and counted either by hand or by machine. If the votes are counted by machine, it is necessary to audit the performance of the machines by choosing groups of ballots at random and counting them by hand.
    In 2003, I authored the ``Resolution on Electronic Voting,'' which has been endorsed by thousands of computer professionals including many of the world's most respected computer scientists. It states: ``Computerized voting equipment is inherently subject to programming error, equipment malfunction, and malicious tampering.'' It is time to recognize the reality that there is no basis for public trust in paperless electronic voting equipment.
    I would be happy to discuss this topic with you further, including technical issues, referring you to individuals with various kinds of expertise whom know, or sharing more detailed experiences with electronic voting issues in the United States. We can converse by telephone, email, or you would be welcome to visit me at Stanford if you are in the United States. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Sincerely,
    David L. Dill
     
  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    EVM’s credibility questioned


    Though electronic voting machines were used in the general elections in the country in 2004 and 2009, there were many complaints and allegations regarding their use, Save Indian Democracy member Satya Dosapati said here on Tuesday.

    “The problems associated with EVMs are not unique to India, other countries such as the United States and Europe too have experienced them. Therefore many countries are now reconsidering the use of EVMs,” he added.

    Addressing a press conference, Mr. Dosapati said there was need for a debate on the merits and demerits of the use of EVMs and the paper ballot system.

    He referred to a letter written by Stanford University professor Dr. David Dill to the Chief Election Commissioner of India. The letter states that paper ballots contributed to election credibility since voters could ensure that their votes had been properly recorded when they wrote them on the ballot and poll workers and observers at the venue could ensure that ballots were not changed, added or removed after being deposited in the ballot box.

    On the other hand EVMs did not allow voters to verify that their votes had been accurately recorded or allow observers to witness that the ballots had not been tampered with. EVMs provided no evidence during or after the elections to convince sceptics that the election results were accurate, the letter said.

    Mentioning instances of countries which had banned EVMs for elections, Mr. Dosapati said: “The German Supreme Court has banned EVMs while the Netherlands too has banned them despite spending millions of dollars to operate them. About 21 States in the US have paper-backed elections.”

    He also cited an Indian organisation Voter Watch which claimed that EVMs could be tampered with.

    Speaking about why Germany decided to discontinue with EVMs, attorney Dr. Till Jaeger said: “EVMs which were in use in Germany since 1998 were banned by a Supreme Court order in 2009. The use of EVMs was considered unconstitutional as long as there was no paper-based proof to show voting activity.”

    “The election process should be public and verifiable. There is a lack of public control in using these machines,” Dr. Jaeger added, saying that there was no way of finding out what happened to one’s vote once it was registered by the machine.

    “One cannot see if the machine is tampered with. In the paper ballot system, some observation is possible. If ballot boxes are stuffed, one can at least see it happening. The use of EVMs may seem efficient but is still not justifiable.” he said.
     
  16. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    2,223
    ok so whats anws of evm`s paper which are more prone to attacks then evm`s . evm`s are not attached to internet so it wont be easy to hack as claim by all.second what here they are calling is not hacking but actually tempering with internal circuits of evm`s. it is possible in one or two case but i do not think so possible when elections are begin held.also durning election evm`s are sealed and every political party has representative present at pooling booth to supervise as well as see whether everthing is going fine or knot
     
  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Review EVMs: Pressure Begins to Mount on the ECI



    Top leaders of 13 political parties have submitted a jointly signed memorandum to the Election Commission of India seeking an All-Party meet to discuss the concerns regarding the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

    The memorandum said, “We have serious apprehension regarding the use of EVMs in elections.” “The gold standard throughout the world today is that there must be a verifiable, physical record of voting for all concerned to repose confidence in the election results,” said the leaders, seeking an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.

    These leaders included top leaders from across the political spectrum. Among the signatories are front ranking communists led by Prakash Karat (CPI-M), A.B. Bardhan (CPI), Info-tech savvy Chandrababu Naidu (Telugu Desam party), regional satraps like Jayalalthaa (AIADMK), Deve Gowda (JD-S), Ajit Singh (Rastriya Lok Dal) and leaders of ‘social justice’ parties like Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi party) and Lalu Prasad Yadav (Rastriya Janata Dal).

    Interestingly, Sharad Yadav Convener of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is also a signatory of the memorandum. Sharad Yadav is President of the Janata Dal (United). Thus, presidents of both the major rival parties in the poll bound state of Bihar namely, Lalu Prasad Yadav led Rastriya Janata Dal and Sharad Yadav led JD (U) have demanded a review of the present voting system.

    How did so many parties come together on the issue of EVMs and what propelled them into action? Here is the inside story.

    On April 12, the day this website was launched in New Delhi by Chandrababu Naidu, most of these leaders who were in Delhi had witnessed a demonstration by Hari Prasad of NetIndia and his team on the real EVMs used in elections. They have shown how the real EVMs could be rigged to steal elections. Though most of these leaders entertained doubts and concerns about EVMs in the past, this demonstration proved to be the clincher.

    There was a lot of debate as to what action must be contemplated. The ECI had not responded positively to letters from individual parties seeking all party meetings on the EVM issue. The ECI craftily preferred to deal with political parties individually rather than convene an all party meeting where things could get messy.

    So it was decided that all the parties must approach the Election Commission signing a joint memorandum. Parties felt that the ECI would find it difficult to completely ignore such a major initiative by parties and would be compelled to convene an all party meet.

    What if the ECI did not respond positively to these concerns? A top political leader of a party this author spoke to observed that the G-13 (group of 13 parties that endorsed the memorandum) would take up the matter with parties in the ruling coalition (many of them like the TMC and NCP sympathise with the cause) and with the government at the level of the prime minister to build a political consensus on the need for reforms in the voting system.

    The UPA government is badly dependent on tacit support of some of the parties which are signatories to this memorandum. If these parties push the EVM agenda hard, the government would find it difficult to ignore their concerns.

    What remains to be seen is whether the ECI stops being intransigent and inflexible in it’s utterly thoughtless stance on the EVMs (with frivolous statements like they are perfect and totally tamper proof etc.) or adopts a conciliatory or a democratic approach.

    If the ECI remains mindlessly adamant, parties would be compelled to adopt a confrontationist approach and amend the Representation of People Act (RPA) making it mandatory to maintain physical record of every ballot cast in the elections.

    To me, it appears that it would be easier to get the UPA government with a tottering majority to adopt such legislation unanimously than to count on a recalcitrant Election Commission that seems to stake all its prestige on the EVM issue. Quite unnecessarily so. The next few months would be crucial in our struggle for a verifiable, transparent and auditable voting system in the country. As of now, it is a Thumbs-Up for all those struggling for this ideal.
     
  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Questionable Decisions (Part 2) – Use of State Govt. owned EVMs



    Did you know that the Election Commission of India (ECI) had used Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) owned by the state governments in 2009 parliamentary elections? If you didn’t, you will find this blog post curious.

    The BEL and ECIL, which sell electronic voting machines (EVMs) to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for use in assembly and parliamentary elections also sell EVMs to the state governments hold local body elections.

    These state government owned EVMs are directly under the control of the state governments and the ECI has nothing to do with their purchase, storage, usage or checking as local elections are outside the ambit of the ECI.

    Days before the first phase of polling in 2009 general elections, the Election Commission had directed the chief electoral officers of states (who work directly under the superintendence of the Election Commission of India) to paste “Election Commission of India” stickers on the state government owned EVMs used in parliamentary elections until the elections were over. (ECI letter no. No.51/8/7/2009-EMS dated 12th April, 2009)

    In deploying the state government owned EVMs, the Election Commission of India failed to realize that its decision to commission state government owned EVMs was fraught with serious security hazards. The ‘integrity’ of voting machines that are owned by the state governments and have remained all along in the custody of some state governmental agencies is suspect.

    The latest security review of EVMs by Hari Prasad, Rop Gonggrijp and Alex Halderman has shown that even momentary access to the EVMs is enough to hack the EVMs to manipulate the election results. The ECI seemed blissfully unaware of the risks involved. The Congress party leaders have leveled serious allegations against the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Orissa on ‘manipulating’ election results by “illegally” using state government owned EVMs in elections.

    When we quizzed the representatives of the ECI in meetings over the use of state EVMs, they had stated that all these EVMs have been checked for their functionality before their use in elections. But that misses the key point.

    Electronic voting machines that function normally during functionality and mock tests can be made to alter election results when the actually polls happen. Trojan can be made to remain dormant during tests and play havoc with election results when actual polls occur.

    I estimate that the ECI had used nearly 3 Lakh EVMs owned by state governments in 2009 parliamentary elections. The Election Commission has so far not revealed any information as to where these machines were used in 2009 polls.

    The next time around, if the Election Commission falls short of EVM requirements, don’t be surprised if it allows private companies — some corporates had dialogue with EVM manufacturers to buy EVMs! — to deploy their EVMs to meet the shortfall.
     
  19. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/slow-start/622459/0

     
  20. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    India's Electronic Voting Machines Are Insecure, Study Finds


    Indian electronic voting machines (EVMs) are vulnerable to fraud, researchers said this week, and advocated that a paper trail should be maintained to verify the results of balloting.

    The researchers have also released a video where they have demonstrated attacks on an EVM after tinkering with its internal electronics.

    They got access to a working EVM, that was already used in an election, through an anonymous source, Hari Prasad, one of the researchers said on Friday. Prasad is managing director of Netindia, a Hyderabad-based technology firm

    One attack involved replacing the display board of the machine with a look-alike component that can be instructed to steal a percentage of the votes in favor of a chosen candidate.

    The new display board adds a microcontroller that replaces the election results with fraudulent ones as they are displayed, and a Bluetooth radio module that allows the attacker to wirelessly signal through his mobile phone which candidate should receive the stolen votes, the researchers said.

    Though the use of mobile phones is prohibited within 100 meters of polling stations, this rule is infrequently enforced, the researchers added.

    In another attack on the test EVM, the researchers used a pocket-sized device, attached to the memory chips, to change the votes stored in the EVM between the election and the public vote counting, which in India can be weeks later.

    Storage rooms where EVMs are kept between elections are insecure, and criminals can bribe an official and get access to the machines, Prasad said.

    Officials at the Election Commission of India were not immediately available for comment. Prasad said the researchers have offered to demonstrate the attacks to the Election Commission.

    India uses EVMs of the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) variety, which record votes only to internal memory and do not provide paper records for later inspection or recount.

    The researchers have also raised concerns that criminals and people intending to rig elections can tamper with components. The EVMs are designed so that the firmware is stored in masked read-only memory in the microcontroller, and there is no provision for reading it out or verifying its integrity.

    If the software was modified before it was burned into the CPUs, the changes will be very difficult to detect, the researchers said.

    The chips are made in the U.S. and Japan, and nobody in India knows for sure what software is in the machines, or whether they count votes accurately, they added.

    The researchers have recommended a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT), which combines an electronic record, stored in a DRE machine, with a paper vote record that can be audited by hand. Existing EVMs do not have upgradeable software, but a VVPAT can be added on the cable between the control unit and the ballot unit, they said.

    The researchers recommend precinct-count optical scan (PCOS) voting as an alternative. In this model, voters fill out paper ballots that are scanned by a voting machine at the polling station before being placed in a ballot box. Attacking either of these systems would require tampering with both the paper records and the electronic records, according to the researchers.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  21. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    EVMs vulnerable to fraud: Experts


    New Delhi: The electronic voting machines (EVMs) used in India are vulnerable to fraud, and it is important for votes to be counted in a manner that can be seen and verified, a group of experts said on Thursday.
    In a collaborative study, a team of Indian and international experts has revealed that even brief access to the voting machines can allow criminals to alter election results.
    As details of the machines' design have never been publicly disclosed, and they have not been subjected to a rigorous, independent security analysis, the experts said in a statement that their research findings acquire vital significance.
    These findings, they said, were at odds with the Election Commission claims that weaknesses found in other EVMs around the world do not apply to the Indian product.
    But the statement said the findings of this group's research "clearly show that India's EVMs are far from being perfect and suffer from serious security vulnerabilities".
    This collaborative study was performed by a team of researchers from NetIndia Ltd, based in Hyderabad, the University of Michigan in the US and a non-profit organisation in the Netherlands specialising in electronic voting related issues.
    India has around 1.4 million EVMs, which record votes only for internal memory and provide no paper records for later inspection or recount. Here, trust is placed in the hardware and software of the voting machines.
    The researchers said they had shown that the EVMs can be attacked, either by replacing a small part of the machine with an identical component that can be silently instructed to steal a percentage of the votes in favor of a chosen candidate.
    These instructions can even be sent from a mobile phone.
    Another attack would involve the use of a pocket-sized device to change the votes stored in the EVM between the day of polling and when the votes get counted.
    "The simple design of the EVMs lends itself for such attacks. Our study has demonstrated two attacks on the EVMs. More such attacks are possible. These attacks are possible despite the existence of procedural checks and safeguards that the Election Commission has introduced," said Hari Prasad, a computer engineer from Hyderabad who organised the study.
    The design of EVMs relies entirely on physical security of machines and the integrity of election insiders, including private technicians hired by the EVM manufacturers.
    The EVMs have no provisions for storing secrets to prevent manipulations by attackers having physical access to the machines.
    Rop Gonggrijp, a security researcher from the Netherlands, said: "Such machines have already been abandoned in Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Florida (US) and many other places. India should follow suit."
    Gonggrijp added: "Computers can be programmed to count votes honestly. But since nobody can watch them, they might just as easily be programmed to count dishonestly."
    Political analyst G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said the distrust among political leaders of all hues on voting machines was high. "It is about time India shunned paperless voting to make its election outcomes credible and verifiable."
     

Share This Page