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Security Bites 118: Voting in America

Brian Chess and Jacob West of Fortify talk about electronic voting with CNET's Robert Vamosi.

Robert Vamosi Former Editor
As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.
Robert Vamosi

Voting--it's the cornerstone of our democracy. But in recent years, both the systems we use and the trust we have in the accuracy of our votes have been challenged.

A new report (PDF) looks at all the systems currently in use--from paper ballots to Direct-Recording Electronic machines--and the issues that surround them. Researchers at Fortify analyzed threats against three phases of an election (voter registration, casting votes, and tabulating votes), highlighting specific ways voting systems have been compromised, summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of current voting techniques, and then providing guidance for voters to ensure their votes are handled properly in upcoming elections.

This week, Robert Vamosi spoke with co-authors Brian Chess and Jacob West of Fortify about their report.

Not surprisingly, Chess and West draw parallels between the electronic systems handling our votes and those that handle our financial transactions. They conclude with several ways the federal and state governments can work with voting machine vendors to adopt business software assurance techniques into the systems they create.

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