Tue, 24 October 2006
It seems the more technologically advanced the voting process gets, the easier it is to corrupt the process. Or, as Mr. Scott said it in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, "The more they overthink the plumbin', the easier 'tis to stop up the drain." If any of my listners or readers live in the Chicago area, it might be a good time to check your voter registration so you don't get a big, nasty surprise on election day. Here is the chilling article from CNN.com:
Watchdog: Glitch exposes 1.3M voters' info to hackers
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- The city is investigating a security glitch in its elections Web site that hackers could have used to swipe Social Security numbers and the personal information of about 1.3 million voters, officials said.
It wasn't immediately clear if anyone actually stole or misused any of the information, Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Tom Leach said.
He said the problem had been fixed and a forensic computer expert would be brought in to examine the site's logs for any signs of illegal access.
"Obviously, we are very concerned," Leach said Monday. "We have no reason to believe there was (theft), but we want to be able to assure people there wasn't."
A watchdog group, the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project, exposed the vulnerability and alerted officials last week, Leach said.
"This was a very serious vulnerability," project member Peter Zelchenko said.
A malevolent hacker could have tampered with voter registration data, such as inactivating certain voters' registration or changing their polling places in the online database. They also could have accessed Social Security numbers, names, birth dates and addresses, the group said.
The Web site is designed to enable Chicago residents to register to vote online. It also explains how and where to cast ballots. About 1.3 million former and current registered voters have personal information on the site, which includes about 780,000 Social Security numbers, Leach said.
Leach said the site cannot be used to access the city's electronic vote-counting systems.
"Everyone can be assured their votes will be counted and counted accurately," he said.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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