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Voting Machines Loses Test to Computer Hackers

As per the analysis of University of California released on July 27, 2007, PC hackers sanctioned by State had successfully penetrated the security shield of California's voting machines. After breaking the security, hackers changed the result and attempted to control the some functions of the system.

Secretary of Sate Debra Bowen, who controlled each and every review of each voting system passed by the state, said that the boffins surpassed the software and physical security in every voting machine tested, as per the reports of SF.com on July 28, 2007.

Computer science professor at UC Davis, Matt Bishop (he led the "red team" hacking effort) summarized the results and said that the information that is available to the State Secretary was also given to testers, comprising software, operating manuals, and security codes. Voting system usually does not disclose this kind of information, as per the reports of SFGate.com on July 28, 2007.

Bishop said that the research was conducted with the purpose of detecting flaws in the voting system of the state. But, it didn't handle the physical security steps might be taken by the counties. Also, it made no suppositions on the constraints of the attackers. He continues that the testers didn't analyze the possibility of any security attack being possible.

Some of the officials of county elections in the state belonged to the most important in the study, stating they are worried that they could be compelled to junk huge amount in voting systems if, by any chance, Bowen disapproves them for election in February 2008.

Steve Weir, Clerk recorder, Contra Costa County, and Head, state Association of Clerks and Election Officials, said that giving the attackers the operating manuals, source codes, and unlimited access is like handling the key of the house to a thief, as per the reports of SFGtae.com on July 28, 2007.

Bowen said on Friday (July 27, 2007) that the voting machines of a country are a tool for measuring the efficacy of a democracy. So, they should be secure, reliable, accessible, and accurate. He further added that this analysis not only poses a question to him but to whole of the country.

The study has also uncovered that the voting system is not free of flaws and it make becomes difficult for blind voters and people with other disabilities to cast a vote.

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