Moss versus machines
By Bob Fitrakis
Online Journal Guest Writer
Aug 4, 2010, 00:14
It is fitting on the fifth anniversary of the death of Bill
Moss, lead plaintiff in the legendary Moss v. Bush 2004 lawsuit in Ohio, that
the Associated Press is admitting the easy hackability of Diebold machines.
�A hacker has discovered a way to force ATMs to disgorge
their cash by hijacking the computers inside them,� reads the AP lead.
The AP goes on to warn that, �The attacks demonstrated last
week targeted stand-alone ATMs. But they could potentially could be used
against the ATMs operated by mainstream banks.�
What the Associated Press and corporate for-profit media
fail to report is that Diebold, one of the world�s leading ATM hardware and
sofware providers, also manufactures electronic voting machines with similar
The similarities between hacking a Diebold ATM and a
Diebold/Premier election machine are startling. For example, the hacker,
Barnaby Jack, director of Security Testing for Seattle based IOActive, Inc.,
stated, �Every ATM I�ve looked at, I�ve been able to find a flaw in. It�s a
It�s even scarier that all major studies of electronic
voting machines have found the same flaws.
The AP tells us that �Jack found that the physical keys that
came with his machines were the same for all ATMs of that type made by that
manufacturer.� This has long been reported by election protection activists
concerning voting machines.
Jack found that you could hack the ATM machines over the
Internet. The same accusations were made of voting machines in Florida in 2000
and in Ohio is 2004 after election results fell significantly outside the exit
poll margins of error.
This is coupled with recent revelations by Diebold that
their machines were physically attacked and illegal software was installed on
them in Russia. Here�s the quote from Diebold�s website:
�Criminals broke into a number of ATMs in Russia and
installed illegal software. This crime required an aggressive, physical
break-in with high-tech expertise once the inside of the ATM was accessed.�
The assurance from Diebold as to the reliability of their
ATMs and, by inference, Premier voting machines, amounts to a confession of
vulnerability: �It is important to stress that Diebold ATMs with properly
configured operating systems, firewalls, passwords and other physical and
logical security measures are not at risk for most software exploits.�
Note the key operative word here for Diebold ATMs and voting
machines is that �most� hacking attempts will not be successful, but what about
All evidence suggests that some have hacked into election
results in Florida in 2000, Georgia in 2002, Ohio in 2004, and in other
The use of mainstream computers to hack elections was
pioneered by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. �Our man Marcos� in the
Philippines desperately manipulated mainframe computers to rig his re-election,
which failed because of the Corzaon Aquino and the people power movement that
refused to accept the illegally programmed results.
Why is it, on this anniversary of Bill Moss� passing, that
we can readily accept people are hacking into ATM machines, but ignore the fact
that people are also hacking Diebold, ES&S and other electronic voting
machines and stealing more than money. They are stealing our democratic legacy.
Here in Ohio for the 2010 election, 54 out of 88 counties
used DRE machines (electronic voting machines) with 34 others using
computerized optical scanning voting machines which are also easily hackable.
Also, highly partisan Republican-connected election machine
service companies with a long history of activism in the Right to Life
movement, now maintain virtually all of the computerized electronic voting
machines outside the major cities in Ohio. According to data from the Ohio
Secretary of State�s website, Triad is now servicing electronic and
computerized voting machines in 50 counties, up from 48 in 2008 and
significantly grew from the 44 they serviced in 2004.
Recall that allegations were made before Congress that Triad
often arrived unannounced prior to the Ohio recount in 2004, inserted patches
and reprogrammed computers.
If we were to honor the memory of Bill Moss, we would take a
stand for democracy and demand that private, for-profit vendors with their
secret proprietary software codes would be forever banned from U.S. elections.
America has the know-how and technology to make sure nobody
hacks our elections. Like other democracies in the world that have figured it
out, it is called �paper and pen.� Fully transparent, hand-counted paper
Fitrakis was an attorney in the Moss v. Bush case.
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