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Diebold’s Latest Security Debacle

Posted on Jan 24, 2007
Diebold keys

It turns out Diebold uses a universal key to access its voting machines, meaning that anyone who has one, a minute of free time and a little know-how can steal an election without a trace. What’s worse, the company made an image of the key available on its website, allowing at least one viewer to produce multiple working copies.


It was revealed in the course of last summer’s landmark virus hack of a Diebold touch-screen voting system at Princeton University that, incredibly, the company uses the same key to open every machine. It’s also an easy key to buy at any office supply store since it’s used for filing cabinets and hotel mini-bars! That is, if you’re not a poll worker who already has one from the last time you worked on an election (anybody listening down there in San Diego?)

The Princeton Diebold Virus Hack, if you’ve been living in a cave, found that a single person with 60 seconds of unsupervised access to the system who either picked the lock (easy in 10 seconds) or had a key, could slip a vote-swapping virus onto a single machine which could then undetectably affect every other machine in the county to steal an entire election.

But the folks at Princeton who discovered the hack (after our own organization,, gave them the Diebold touch-screen machine on which to perform their tests) had resisted showing exactly what the key looked like in order to hold on to some semblance of security for Diebold’s Disposable Touch-Screen Voting Systems.

But guess what? Diebold didn’t bother to even have that much common sense.

This idiotic company has had a photograph of the stupid key sitting on their own website’s online store!

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By S. Gengerke, January 25, 2007 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment
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This was to be expected specifically from Diebold when the head of the company sent that letter confirming his devotion to a Republican election victory.  And the Republicans have blocked attempts to ensure a paper trail for the electronic votes, which would have provided some slight ability to check the system.

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By Rodney Matthews, January 25, 2007 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
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These people should be banned fron the election business, I guess they payed off enough politicans oop’s I mean gave enough political contribitions to stay in the business of fraud and election stealing.

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By Bluestocking, January 24, 2007 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment
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For pity’s sake, why didn’t they just put up a huge sign on their website in flashing letters saying “How To Commit Voter Fraud”?  They might as well have done.  And while we’re on the subject…wasn’t it Warren O’Dell, the CEO of Diebold, who said on the record that he was committed to delivering the Ohio electoral college votes to Bush in the 2004 election?

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By charlie, January 24, 2007 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
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GOOD> maybe now some one with common sense will hack into it lastly and not the supreme court!

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By DennisD, January 24, 2007 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment
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Maybe we can ask the Russians to monitor our next election. Vote early and vote often or not at all - the results will be the same.
America - where low expectations can never surpass reality.

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By Quy Tran, January 24, 2007 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment
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Just give several sets of keys to Bush so he and his followers can steal every election results easily and don’t need the high court’s interference. They’re all pickpockets in modern time.

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By lawlessone, January 24, 2007 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
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Horrifying, especially when you stop to realize that the head of Diebold has publically indicated his desire to have Republicans in power in perpetuity.  I guess we should be thankful though that Bush and his cohorts like the Diebold CEO have turned out to be so utterly incompetent in the long run.  Otherwise, our Democracy would already be dead.

[more irreverence at]

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By lawlessone, January 24, 2007 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment
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Thank God that Bush and his Cohorts like Diebold are so utterly incompetent.  Otherwise, our Democracy would already be dead.

[more irreverence at]

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