Diebold strikes back on 'bug' report

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The voting machine controversy likely will linger with a re-emerging report that source code from Ohio-based Diebold Inc. yielded reports of numerous bugs.

Diebold Election Systems, one of three companies to provide updated technology for the 2004 election, calls the report's findings out-of-date and part of an inaccurate study.


Resurging controversy over a 2003 report by computer science Professor Avi Rubin of John Hopkins University indicated Diebold's program source codes used an encryption key that was hacked in 1997 and no longer is used in secure programs.

However, Diebold spokesman David Bear told UPI that since Rubin "didn't know the system" he made inaccurate accusations, including that it can be hacked, despite the fact it is a "stand-alone" system.

Rubin also demonstrated "a complete lack of understanding of the election environment and did not take into consideration any of the apparent checks and balances of the election system," Bear said.

Rubin's 2003 study found Diebold used the Digital Encryption Standard 56-bit encryption key, which can be unlocked by a key embedded in the source code, meaning all Diebold machines would respond to the same key.


Bear said, however, the study looked at "outdated, incomplete code that's over two years old and was never run in an election."

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