IDG News Service - Why spend millions of dollars campaigning when you can hack an election for less than 100 grand? That's a question raised by university researchers who recently bought a Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machine and then used a new hacking technique to circumvent its security. Although they've been hacked before, Sequoia's AVC machines are considered a pretty tough target because they have a special memory-protection mechanism that allows them to only run software they're hardwired to execute in the machine's ROM (read-only memory).
But using a new hacking technique, called a return-oriented programming attack, researchers were able to trick the machine into changing the results of an election, according to Alex Halderman, one of the university researchers behind the work. Halderman is with the University of Michigan, but researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Princeton University were also involved in the project. They presented their results at the Usenix 2009 Electronic Voting Workshop, held in Montreal this week.
ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda