Home > Internet Vote Fraud: Means, Motive, and Opportunity

Internet Vote Fraud: Means, Motive, and Opportunity

by Open-Publishing - Tuesday 28 December 2004

Elections-Elected USA Robin Baneth

"Triad Governmental Systems, Inc. services voting tabulators via modem" is absolutely breathtaking to us in the Information Technology field. Triad non-chalantly used this modem method to reset machines in preparation for the Ohio recount. No doubt that this is a practical short-cut: Makes sense; it saves gas, time. In fact, this is the same mechanism that I — a computer consultant — use to support 200 computers spread out across North Carolina.

It is now public record that Triad "legally hacked" into Van Wert County, Ohio on December 9th, and other counties on different dates in preparation for the recount. We, at the conspiracy farm, hardly feel righteous indignation.

The big picture: Everything is fine until you consider that passive modem-access means that these machines have been available for remote re-configuration for months if not years. We know this because nothing special was done (like Triad calling Van Wert’s elections board) to prepare for this recent remote connectivity. The connectivity has been in place for legitimate purposes and we do have a suggestion that it is against the rules for this remote login facility to be used for illegitimate purposes.

No guarantees, but we do have anti-conspiracy rants that make us all feel better.

According to the prestigious Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, here is all it takes to commit a crime on the Internet or modem access point (http://www.cert.org/archive/pdf/hom...):

Means - the tools are there, nicely catalogued and ready to go.
Motives - with so much on the Internet, motives are there, whether the priority is money, curiosity, politics, or power.
Opportunity - there are many, many access points to the Internet, most inexpensive and some free.

In fact, go to http://www.chuckherrin.com/hackthev... to find out how a Republican does it (for educational not criminal purposes). Also, let’s not forget about our open Wheel of VOTER Challenge II: 2K in which no one has been able to contradict a popular FTP hack.

"We’ve all seen television police dramas where the detectives nab the criminal by determining who has the means, the motive, and the opportunity to commit a crime. They ask questions such as “Did the suspect have the means to commit the crime? What did they have to gain? Did they have the opportunity to carry out the crime?” We can view trends in cyber attacks by looking at these same three categories: means, motive, and opportunity."

To further quote Lawrence R . Rogers: "In the current environment of the Internet, attackers are motivated to steal computer cycles and attack computers in other ways (including compromising information and creating a denial of service by clogging the network). They may do it out of curiosity or “bragging rights.” They may do it for power or money, or for political/ideological reasons. Long gone are the days of users and administrators knowing and trusting each other. Users on the Internet are anonymous, and their number grows daily. The atmosphere is not collegial, and trust is neither automatic nor always warranted."

O.K., we now have the means (internet), motive (politics), and opportunity (modem-accessible) to hack into a county’s central tabulator. Combine that with a close election in which only a few key battleground counties needed to be manipulated and voila: Mr. Bush and the War and Church machine.

We keep hearing there is no evidence of widespread fraud. But have we heard there was no fraud at all?

We hear there were election problems to the tune of 57,000 GAO reports but we are assured they were not enough to turn the election.

We hear there is no proof that these machines were tampered with. These are the same reverse assurances gamblers get when they use Video Poker machines.

Maybe we should ask Buddy Therrell, Nathan Ramsey, Timothy Scott Guthrie and Kevin Wade Lemmonds who have been charged with possession of illegal gaming machines. "Besides the machines, police confiscated 18 illegal circuit boards from one of the locations."

But don’t listen to me, I am just a video poker conspiracy nut.

We now see that everyone on the internet has the means, motive, and opportunity. Believe me, my Mom — the John Birch Republican
(http://www.jbs.org) — would have hacked the election if she could have. But luckily the internet is a bastion of pure intents and motives comprised of folks much better than my Mother. Hackers were just trying to save America from itself, right? We certainly don’t want to wander down that dark scary alley of world peace, high employment, fair wages, lower abortion rates, cleaner air, cleaner water, respect.

We are much better off now. If this were a murder case, we would be pushing for First Degree Murder. Manslaughter is reserved for reasonable doubt. These machines should get the death penalty. The hackers and vote-riggers are traitors. Now excuse me while these loose votes and I go frolicking in a meadow.

I keep hearing Santa in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer saying to the Senators, "c’mon Dancer, c’mon Daschle." Contest the results NEXT TUESDAY. America needs a hero, red nose and all.

And if you find yourself slipping back into comfortable numbness, check out the Fraud Slide Show:

Robin Baneth


Forum posts

  • Try burden of proof, or reasonable doubt. Motive and intent are enough to bring a case but reasonable doubt can dismiss it.

    • reasonable doubt in this case is about as strong an argument as WMD, etc. that got us into Iraq war. :-)

  • Please, care to actually comment on the facts, rather than the all-too-familiar character attack? Facts are, the entire election ’machine’ has been bought and paid for, and it spat out exactly what the Repubs asked for. The ’will of the people’ never even entered into the equation. If you apply the old ’where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ cliche, we are already ablaze. And attacks are intended to shift the focus and maintain the corruption. Shame!

    • Bravo and Touché for taking a strong stab at saving democracy. We are a laughing stock worldwide.

  • The two percenters in America are all left wing wack jobs trying to steal the election for Kerry like they tried to steal the election for Gore in 2000. Nobody in America has the time of day for these twits so they must keep writing to French media to air their "grievances"

    • Looks as though you’re getting a little scared with all the evidence building up ?

    • Fear is for the ignorant.

    • See whatreallyhappened.com for collected evidence, like voting results totally out of whack with exit polls, and the extra 5% of pro-Bush votes coming ONLY from places using electronic voting machines.

      PS Only someone rooting for the boy emperor would say ’what evidence?’ to the possibility his country got stolen. Results of said attitude now smoulder in Iraq. Always err on the side of caution.

      PPS No, I don’t like him, why would I like such a destructive influence?

    • What are you doing here on the French media?....gotcha

  • As a skeptic, I’m torn on this one. The rallying cry of the skeptic is, "extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence." But which claim is more extraordinary - that massive vote fraud occurred, or that it didn’t?

    I’m reluctant to be labeled a "tin-foil hatter," but after giving it a lot of thought, it seems pretty clear to me that the claim that it didn’t occur is by far the more extraordinary. Consider the stakes, and the incentives; consider the (mostly valid) stereotype of politicians’ ethics; given the opportunity to cheat, wouldn’t it be rather naive to suppose that they (any of them, from any party) wouldn’t gleefully do so? Wouldn’t it, in fact, be hopelessly pollyanna-ish to assume that every person with the opportunity to cheat in their candidate’s favor would be able to resist the temptation outright, let alone to avoid rationalizing their actions as being in the country’s best interests?

    The software for these electronic vote tabulating machines is proprietary, so its security is not open to public inspection or verification. The reports from "independent testing agencies" show that security of these machines is not even tested before they are certified for use in elections. They have modems set up for dial-in access, and at least for Diebold GEMS machines, it has been conclusively demonstrated that once access is gained through a network or modem, the vote totals can be untraceably changed by anyone with minimal knowledge and widely available commercial database software. It’s risky to generalize from a sample of one, but given my experience in the software industry I’d be very surprised if any of Diebold’s competitors are any more secure.

    For most touchscreen voting machines, there are no paper records, except for those printed out by the machines themselves based on whatever vote totals they have in their databases - i.e., if you try to audit a hacked machine you will only be given the altered totals and will have no way of ever finding out that the results have been hacked, even in a hand recount.

    In this specific case, doing what Triad did to Ohio’s vote-tabulating machines before the recount, even if explicitly authorized by the county election officials, was in fact a direct violation of Ohio’s election laws; and furthermore, those laws state that any violation of that section of the code is "prima facie evidence of election fraud," so whether or not the intent was malicious, whether or not any vote totals were changed, the actions by definition constituted election fraud under Ohio law. Since it was done across many counties, it constitutes massive election fraud.

    Even if one persists in believing against all inclination that Ohio’s 2004 presidential election was not "rigged" or "hacked," one has to admit that the opportunity was there for the taking, and that leaving an opening like that for future elections is not a good idea. One productive thing I think we could all agree to do, while we’re sorting out whether this election was really stolen or was settled fair and square, is work on making sure in future elections there’s not even the shadow of a suspicion that the process could have been "gamed" in any way.

    I can think of one way to do that: pass a federal law requiring uniform, transparent, bulletproof, tamper-proof election and vote-counting standards nationwide. Preferably, defining election fraud as an act of Treason. A constitutional amendment guaranteeing every U.S. citizen the right to vote might be nice, too.

    Of course, it would have to be Congress who passed any such law, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that many of them got into office with some help from the time-honored tradition of good old-fashioned, low-tech ballot box stuffing. So I won’t hold my breath.

    Can anyone think of a better way?

  • Okay heres my thought on school uniforms. I think its totally REDICULOUS for the school boards to decide to make dress codes for the hole school! If they want to punish kids who dont go by school rules then by god PUNISH THEM not the hole frikkin school!!! Pick the ones out that dont go by the rules and make THOSE that are guilty wear the uniforms for a certian period of time! And if they dont, have a bigger punishment! Im sick of hearing that thier going to try and make everyone wear uniforms when its not EVERYONE doing wrong most kids go by the dress codes but then there are some that dont so to those that dont.. good luck to ya cause hopefully you’ll get to wear the uniforms and not everyone else has to because of their dumb mistakes!!!!!
    Autumn the anonamous!!!!