Should we discontinue EVMs?

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Surya
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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Surya » 26 Oct 2010 17:35

Youa re right Dileep

way into Alice territory

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby ArmenT » 26 Oct 2010 20:02

Rahul Mehta wrote:When someone said that "It is impossible for BEL Charmain et al to replace even 10-20 boxes full of CPU chips inside BEL, because BEL is a fortress", the thread had crossed all limits. :shock: That too, I bet that someone has never stepped inside BEL and seen how rigid (or lax) BEL's warehouses are.

So am I given to understand that you're now accusing the BEL Chairman of fraud?

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Tanaji » 26 Oct 2010 20:06

So am I given to understand that you're now accusing the BEL Chairman of fraud?


"now"? What do you mean "now"? He had done that 10 pages back. Specifically, the following are frauds as per him:
  • The CEC, or the entire Election commission
  • BEL chairman, and the person in charge of software developers
  • The District Collectors

Hain jee, joo arent paying attention evidently...

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby ArmenT » 26 Oct 2010 20:17

I hadn't seen the BEL chairman accusation to be honest. I thought he only accused the Hitachi CEO and the MicroChip CEO of personally switching CPU masks in their respective companies.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 26 Oct 2010 22:02

Pretty soon we will run out of traitors involved in EVM rigging conspiracy given the rate at which their numbers are growing (much faster than growth of India's population).

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby vera_k » 26 Oct 2010 22:31

Hari Prasad & co. have shown how the EVMs can be tampered. Congress is now saying this is how elections were won in Gujarat, and they saw people with laptops moving around the booths to send bluetooth transmissions.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Rahul Mehta » 26 Oct 2010 23:38

Tanaji wrote:
So am I given to understand that you're now accusing the BEL Chairman of fraud?


"now"? What do you mean "now"? He had done that 10 pages back. Specifically, the following are frauds as per him:
  • The CEC, or the entire Election commission
  • BEL chairman, and the person in charge of software developers
  • The District Collectors

Hain jee, joo arent paying attention evidently...


I havent accused DCs.

ArmenT,

The number of people needed to rig 100000 EVMs are about 10-12. BEL Chairman can be forced by MMS to appoint a particular person to be in-charge of warehouse and hardware manufacturing unit of EVM or both. The warehouse in-charge can replace 10-20 box full of good chips with boxes containing compromised chips. AN/OR person in-charge of manufacturing EVMs can outsource display manufacturing to a company that manufactures "dishonest" displays.

Raja Bose,

The number of persons doesnt exceed 10-12 agents. The accessories (like people who just move boxes as routine) dont count - as they have no clue of what is going on. The chip-replacement or display replacement inside factory doesnt need too many people.

===

Vera_K,

HVK's video proves beyond doubt that mere 10-20 people at top can rig 10000s of EVMs, something tha is impossible with paper ballots. The reason why the video came so late was that EC never gave out EVMs. If ECs had given out this EVMs to hackers in 1997 when first major batch of EVMs came, we would have seen 10s of more ways and means to rig EVMs by 1999. But hackers were threatened with prison sentence if they were to touch an EVM So pro-EVMs could sell this myth that "EVMs are unhackable". Thanks to HVK, their myth has shattered. Some pro-EVM folks still maintain that EVMs are Gods. But after seeing HVK's video, they will not get even 1% commons' approvals. But then, pro-EVMs have already stated that 99% of commons are morons !!

AFAIS, pro-EVMs knew that commons would never buy their cock and bull story about "processes are water tight", and so as a preemptive defense, they have already stated that commons' opinion on EVMs must never ever be even counted.

.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 26 Oct 2010 23:44

vera_k wrote:Hari Prasad & co. have shown how the EVMs can be tampered. Congress is now saying this is how elections were won in Gujarat, and they saw people with laptops moving around the booths to send bluetooth transmissions.


Here is the problem - ensuring security against such type of hacks is pretty cheap and cost-effective (Dileep has outlined those solutions time and again on this thread). There is nothing sophisticated about the technology of the "demonstrated" hacks and to counter them is simpler than executing any of the conspiracy theories for subverting EVMs. But in true SDRE style, instead of solving the problem, we have hordes indulging in breast beating and trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. I guess it is more profitable for certain quarters to keep the issue on the boil rather than solving the issue. After all if there is no more issue to go :(( :(( , one loses their soap box.

Hari Prasad to his credit believed (and I hope still believes) in solving problems with the EVM and fixing any holes rather than blindly going around peddling preposterous theories and using them to claim that paper ballot is better.

Mehta ji, we have been through your 10-12 people theory many times on this thread and the theory is not credible.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Tanaji » 27 Oct 2010 00:36

Rahul Mehta wrote:
I havent accused DCs.

.


Fortunately people have long memories and better still, this forum software has a search function

viewtopic.php?p=706408#p706408
Similarly, the policeman guarding EVM room is not agent, but just accessory. He gets order from collector to let some guys walk in, replace goods, and in turn the guard gets some cash. Replacement of evidence is routine business in police, administration etc and they dont bother. So he too is mere accessory and not an agent.


There are other examples of course, but I am too lazy to go over the other ones.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Rahul Mehta » 27 Oct 2010 06:18

Tanaji,

There are several different methods to rig 10000s of EVMs. In the latest few posts, I was talking about "dishonest display" and "modulo-5 based trojan in chip" methods. These two methods need only people in factories and need no co-operation from DCs. The video from HVKP shows a way where in EVMs can be rigged by inserting dishonest display. This can be done in factory, and so no need to bribe DCs.

The post of mine which you are citing is BEFORE video from HVKP came i.e. before dishonest display trick was shown.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Rahul Mehta » 27 Oct 2010 06:26

Raja Bose, Tanaji, Dilpeep, Surya, Sanku and all pro-EVM people,

For the benefit of audience, pls answer the following questions

1. Do anyone of you have ever visited BEL and seen how secure their warehouses etc are

2. Do anyone of you have ANY experience in hacking devices. Did you get ANY real life assignment where-in some client asked you to ethically hack his device? Or he asked you to vetify if his device was hacked

3. Do anyone of you have ANY experience in putting or tracing hardware trojans in chips at gate levels? Did you get ANY real life assignment where-in some client asked you to put a trojan or verify if the chip was free from trojan?

4. Have you ever opened an EVM and seen its inside?

There is a huge difference in having experience in hardware and experience in hardware hacking. eg I have been writing code in Assembly, C, VB, Excel, SQL for 20 years. But I have zero experiences in writing viruses and trojans (and I claim none). You guys seem to claim that you have a lot of real life expertise in hacking and counter-hacking. Please cite whatever real life expertise you have. Let audience decide how informed you speculations are.

The fact that you could not guess that displays can be rigged, memory contents can be altered by putting cap on memory etc doesnt leave much to ask. Nevertheless, lets have a few answers for records.

.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Rahul Mehta » 27 Oct 2010 06:41

Raja Bose wrote:Here is the problem - ensuring security against such type of hacks is pretty cheap and cost-effective (Dileep has outlined those solutions time and again on this thread).


Dilpeep has nopt proposed ANY method to stop modulo-5 based trojan from getting inside chip's gate level design. And DoD itself says that once a hardware trojan gets inside a chip, there is no reliable way to know if the chip is compromized. Also Dileep's solution's are far from cheap - in fact Dilpeep never provided any cost estimates numbers !! You are SPECULATING that his means are cheap. If not, can you provide how much it will cost to implement Dileep's means on existing 10,00,000 EVMs?

And which method of Dileep protects EVM from inserting dishonest display at factory level? His "method" AFAIK depends in "integrity" of BEL staff, that BEL staff will not swap boxes.

==

There is nothing sophisticated about the technology of the "demonstrated" hacks and to counter them is simpler than executing any of the conspiracy theories for subverting EVMs.


Yet, you and other pro-EVM people could never ever guess dishonest display method. Quite frankly, HVKP by demonstrating dishonest people has proved that people in this thread (including myself) have zero experience in real life hacking hardware or tracking hacks in hardware or counter-hacking hardware. I in my defense, made it clear that I never made any hardware beyond 8057 and that too last I touched hardware was early 1990s.

===

Hari Prasad to his credit believed (and I hope still believes) in solving problems with the EVM and fixing any holes rather than blindly going around peddling preposterous theories and using them to claim that paper ballot is better.


HVKP is being harassed by policemen on the orders of Sonia, who as we all know, takes orders from MNCs, Vatican. So if HVKP is being harassed to a point, he may even be forced to say that existing EVMs are perfect. What matters more is his actual video.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 27 Oct 2010 09:33

Rahul Mehta wrote:1. Do anyone of you have ever visited BEL and seen how secure their warehouses etc are
Yes I have been to BEL a few times. No I have not checked how secure their warehouses are. Have you? If so, please tell us the security flaws of their warehouses (actual ones not what comes out of your tin-foil hat conspiracies). BTW are you an expert on security of warehouses - if not, please don't speculate.

2. Do anyone of you have ANY experience in hacking devices. Did you get ANY real life assignment where-in some client asked you to ethically hack his device? Or he asked you to vetify if his device was hacked
Yes. Security stress testing in hardware, firmware, OS and App level is routine and is done for every new device transferred.

3. Do anyone of you have ANY experience in putting or tracing hardware trojans in chips at gate levels? Did you get ANY real life assignment where-in some client asked you to put a trojan or verify if the chip was free from trojan?
Yes design verification is a routine step. Unlike what you try to portray, hardware development is not some fly-by-night cottage industry which has areas "where even God does not know what is happening" like you claimed once on this thread. There are electronics hardware in this world way more complex and critical to life than your EVM - why do you think they don't fail catastrophically killing millions every day? Because security and robustness is a combination of design, implementation and process.

4. Have you ever opened an EVM and seen its inside?
No but we have seen its insides courtesy of Shri Prasad and the pictures taken by him. The EVM is made of the same components as other electronics, it is not black magic however much you wish to obfuscate it.


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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby ArmenT » 27 Oct 2010 09:34

Rahul Mehta wrote:2. Do anyone of you have ANY experience in hacking devices. Did you get ANY real life assignment where-in some client asked you to ethically hack his device? Or he asked you to vetify if his device was hacked

Yes, all three actually. I've publicly published a few exploits on bugtraq. I'm not giving specific details mainly for privacy reasons. My boss at my present job is aware of this and has asked me to bust into our front end UI (even though I don't do UI work), ever since I showed him a major hole in the UI while I was debugging something else entirely. Oh, I also review all the code that goes out to the back-end servers (my area of responsibility.)

Just last December, me and another guy were tasked with tracking a major compromise from China because the darned UI folks didn't implement a feature I'd pointed out many months ago to prevent brute forcing. We found the broken into accounts and were responsible for orchestrating the recovery procedure (because the UI guys managed to bungle the recovery procedure the first time too and ended up compromising more accounts! Long story.)

Oh and just a few months ago, another dumb webmaster spammed a forum I moderate with his latest and greatest PHP creation. When I pointed out that he had several security vulnerabilities, he refused to believe me and asked me to show him. So I did. Multiple times. His site is still vulnerable.
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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby ArmenT » 27 Oct 2010 09:40

Rahul Mehta wrote:HVKP is being harassed by policemen on the orders of Sonia, who as we all know, takes orders from MNCs, Vatican.

How about some proof that Sonia G directly gave orders to the policemen?? Or some proof that she takes orders from MNCs and the Vatican?

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 27 Oct 2010 09:46

Rahul Mehta wrote:Dilpeep has nopt proposed ANY method to stop modulo-5 based trojan from getting inside chip's gate level design. And DoD itself says that once a hardware trojan gets inside a chip, there is no reliable way to know if the chip is compromized. Also Dileep's solution's are far from cheap - in fact Dilpeep never provided any cost estimates numbers !! You are SPECULATING that his means are cheap. If not, can you provide how much it will cost to implement Dileep's means on existing 10,00,000 EVMs?


I was referring to his solutions for Hari Prasad's hacks. They are simple manufacturing solutions which can be undertaken even by the most primitive operations. As for your module-5 trojan crap, it has been proven to be impractical - kindly go thru the entire thread in case memory fails you. And since you claim you are no expert in trojans, we forgive your thoughts and concepts (or lack thereof).

And which method of Dileep protects EVM from inserting dishonest display at factory level? His "method" AFAIK depends in "integrity" of BEL staff, that BEL staff will not swap boxes.

Go and read his solutions. They are on this thread.

Yet, you and other pro-EVM people could never ever guess dishonest display method. Quite frankly, HVKP by demonstrating dishonest people has proved that people in this thread (including myself) have zero experience in real life hacking hardware or tracking hacks in hardware or counter-hacking hardware. I in my defense, made it clear that I never made any hardware beyond 8057 and that too last I touched hardware was early 1990s.

As has been specified time and again on this thread (and conveniently ignored by you since it deflates all your conspiracy theories), any electronic device can be hacked whether it is an aircraft, ECG monitor or an EVM. The question is whether they can be hacked in a manner which cannot be detected and in large enough numbers. Security is a combination of design, implementation and robustness of process - Any graduate student who works in computer security can tell you that.

This was my response to Mr. Prasad on this very thread, quoted below:

^^^ Mr. Prasad, In that case I hope you are probing and trying to find weaknesses in the EVM manufacturing, storage and deployment process itself since it will be a critical part in determining whether and when the tampering can be done without attracting attention or getting caught.

Any electronic device can be hacked provided full access is given (the other extreme of the ideal case). What is interesting in this case is whether such hack can be done in practical circumstances on a large enough scale without getting caught.



He did not respond to my question simply because he does not have those answers! They have merely demonstrated technical feasibility of the hack which is hardly news - like I have said many times before, all electronic devices can be hacked (or rather even more broadly any man-made system can be hacked). Given access and time, one can hack a Boeing 747 for all that matter. Therefore, Mr. Prasad and his team have stopped exactly where the earlier EVM hackers stopped, which is proving technical feasibility. They have left unanswered the other critical piece which is process. Hence, there is absolutely nothing achieved from the "revelations" except providing sensationalist rabble rousing fodder to the likes of you.
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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 27 Oct 2010 09:51

Mehta ji,

Now how about providing a single shred of evidence to support your allegations instead of hiding behind superificial claims and grandstanding (or are you going to run away and avoid answering them, as usual)?

We have gone through over 50 pages of this thread yet You have FAILED to produce a single shred of evidence that the EVMs have been tampered with. Provide some evidence (Not Allegations) and then we can discuss further.


Plausible does not make something Possible and Possible does not making something Feasible.
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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Pranav » 27 Oct 2010 09:53

Raja Bose wrote:
Do anyone of you have ANY experience in putting or tracing hardware trojans in chips at gate levels? Did you get ANY real life assignment where-in some client asked you to put a trojan or verify if the chip was free from trojan?

Yes design verification is a routine step.


Routine design verification is not enough.

“Trust cannot be added to integrated circuits after fabrication; electrical testing and reverse engineering cannot be relied upon to detect undesired alterations in military integrated circuits.” - Defense Science Board Task Force, "High performance microchip supply" Office of the Under Secretary of Defense For Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. Feb. 2005.

Cyberwar - Old Trick Threatens the Newest Weapons - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/science/27trojan.html

Cyberwarfare analysts argue that while most computer security efforts have until now been focused on software, tampering with hardware circuitry may ultimately be an equally dangerous threat. That is because modern computer chips routinely comprise hundreds of millions, or even billions, of transistors. The increasing complexity means that subtle modifications in manufacturing or in the design of chips will be virtually impossible to detect ...

Former Pentagon officials said the United States had not yet adequately addressed the problem.

“The more we looked at this problem the more concerned we were,” said Linton Wells II, formerly the principal deputy assistant defense secretary for networks and information integration. “Frankly, we have no systematic process for addressing these problems.”



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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 27 Oct 2010 09:59

^^Just to clarify, Trust is never added after fabrication - it is part of the iterative design process. BTW going by Mehta ji's assertions we should stop using all electronic devices, right from our toaster all the way to our Agni missile launchers - after all they are definitely more dangerous to life and limb than any EVM ever will be! Also did you see US stop using electronics for its defence systems (and go back to Catapults and battering rams) after that report you quoted came out. No? Guess why.

Unfortunately, there will never be any dearth of tin-foil hat conspiracies or those who believe in them hence, unless some new tangible discovery is made, it is a worthless debate which just goes round and round.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Pranav » 27 Oct 2010 10:08

Raja Bose wrote:^^Just to clarify, Trust is never added after fabrication


True.

The foundries are not controlled by those who want to prevent rigging, which is why hardware cannot be trusted. One needs something like a paper trail.

The consequences of fraud are in fact more severe than a hardware Trojan in an Agni missile.

(BTW, the US military has its "Trusted Foundry Program". India has no domestic foundries. A trusted foundry program might work for defense electronics, because a government can be expected to want reliable military hardware. But not so for EVMs. Even if there were domestic foundries, foundry managers would be subject to conflicts of interest.)

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 27 Oct 2010 10:37

A lot of the defence/space ICs do not go through the trusted foundry program. The use of COTS electronics and ICs is something which is extremely common now in defence equipment. That was not the case say 20 years back.

The claim from Mehta ji is that EVM is getting subverted by the CIA or their stooges! Whether it be EVM or Agni missile, they are equally vulnerable. An Agni missile is more damaging since it carries nukes and having it launched at the wrong target at the wrong time can change human civilization in far drastic manner than an EVM ever can.

In the end there are a lot of possibilities of how something can be subverted but everything must be examined in proper context and with the complete picture in mind. Right now I just don't see anything new in the EVM saga which breaks new ground - a large portion of that blame goes to the knuckle headed GoI babooze who still live in an age when security meant ensuring obscurity and applying draconian measures against genuine people like Shri Prasad.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Rahul Mehta » 27 Oct 2010 10:49

Raja Bose wrote:Mehta ji,

Now how about providing a single shred of evidence to support your allegations instead of hiding behind superificial claims and grandstanding (or are you going to run away and avoid answering them, as usual)?

We have gone through over 50 pages of this thread yet You have FAILED to produce a single shred of evidence that the EVMs have been tampered with. Provide some evidence (Not Allegations) and then we can discuss further.


Plausible does not make something Possible and Possible does not making something Feasible.


Pls stop shouting like a kid. The thread from beginning has been about : which one is easier to rig at mass scale - EVM or paper ballots.

After I gave a way by which modulo-5 based trojans can be used to fix election, you had lost case. Sadly, my method can be demonstrated only if I have actual EVM, and I did not have an EVM to show. After HVKP's video, where he managed to get access to real EVM, you have ZERO case to show that EVM is tougher than
paper ballot.

===

Please give cost estimate of using Dileep's method to make secure EVMs on existing 10,00,000 EVMs. In fact, if you add EVMs owned by State Election Commission, the number could be 20,00,000. What is the cost of implementing Dileep's changes on existing EVMs?

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 27 Oct 2010 10:59

Unfortunately, your method cannot be demonstrated even if you had a real EVM. Funny how you feel the need to trumpet both your lack of expertise in developing trojans and the apparently undeniable success of your modulo-5 crap!

Paper ballots have been shown to be rigged in the field for the past 50 years, EVMs have not yet been shown to be rigged in the field. As simple as that. Hence, please don't try to obfuscate the situation by bringing in strawmen and allegations without providing even a shred of proof. Once again, provide proof or wait till there is some, either way.

Mr. Prasad got access to 1 EVM, inserted some nefarious hardware and that was the end of it. Unfortunately rigging EVMs on a mass scale without detection to influence an election is a little bit harder as is evident from your ever increasingly complicated conspiracy theories and the fact that Mr. Prasad could not answer my questions as quoted in my previous post.

Rahul Mehta wrote:Pls stop shouting like a kid.

But I am a kid. After all I don't have your far-reaching wisdom and mature thought processes. :P

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Dileep » 27 Oct 2010 11:20

I have communicated with VHK Prasad about the various vectors. I have specifically asked him if he believed the 'modified chip' attack was viable.

He answered negative. Naturally, if it was a viable vector, he would have included that in his paper. Read the paper yourself to find the impressions of the team.

All the cock-a-mamie conspiracy theories are (indirectly) thrown out by Mr. Prasad and team. There is no need to discuss them any more. We should focus on the vulnerabilities identified in the paper. It is a properly researched and peer reviewed paper, and we should treat it accordingly.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Rahul Mehta » 27 Oct 2010 15:19

Dileep wrote: I have communicated with VHK Prasad about the various vectors. I have specifically asked him if he believed the 'modified chip' attack was viable. He answered negative. Naturally, if it was a viable vector, he would have included that in his paper. Read the paper ...


I never said that someone took an EVM and "modified" the chip and put it back. Or put another chip in its place. What I have said is that the chip that came from Microchip's foundry itself had "favor candidate# = N mod 5" code inside it. So no one modified that chip after it was made. Essentially, you asked a wrong question and got some inapplicable answer.

The paper HVKP and team has written does mention my article as one possible way to rig EVMs. My article is also cited in the list of citations (in fact, this is the first citation I ever got in a research paper in my whole life !! :) ) . The video as well as articles questions the "man behind the curtain" aka the program in the chip, and does put the doubt if the program in the chip can be tempered.


Here is what HVKP's paper says about my proposed method of rigging EVMs : (see page 18 of http://indiaevm.org/evm_tr2010-jul29.pdf )

===parts of paper ===

Using the Total Number of Candidates: Signaling many EVMs individually would be relatively labor intensive. However, as noted by Mehta [41], an attacker can send signals to EVMs throughout an election district with another kind of covert channel. This is done by taking advantage of a procedural peculiarity of Indian elections. Candidates can register to be on the ballot and then withdraw after the order of candidates is determined [23, 48]. This means an attacker can gain some control over the total number of candidates on the ballot by registering a number of dummy candidates and then having some of them withdraw. If there are n candidates, the dishonest machines might be programmed to steal a percentage of votes in favor of candidate n mod 5, for instance. This would allow the attacker to pick any of the first five candidates to favor (all likely national party candidates) and to send the signal throughout the district by having between zero and four dummy candidates withdraw.
...

[41] R. Mehta. How 100,000 EVMs can be tampered by just 10–12 people at top. http://rahulmehta.com/evm1.pdf, 2009.

===end of paper====

Raja Bose,

Is your claim that an EVM that would benefit CandidateNo = nCandidates mod 5 + 1 is impossible to make?

.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Dileep » 27 Oct 2010 17:06

I never said that someone took an EVM and "modified" the chip and put it back. Or put another chip in its place. What I have said is that the chip that came from Microchip's foundry itself had "favor candidate# = N mod 5" code inside it. So no one modified that chip after it was made. Essentially, you asked a wrong question and got some inapplicable answer.

That is exactly what I got an opinion from Mr. Prasad. He said, someone rigging the foundry is not a viable vector.

What he acknowledges from your article is the modulo n technique, which is an activation technique to an existing dishonest device.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Pranav » 27 Oct 2010 17:35

Dileep wrote:That is exactly what I got an opinion from Mr. Prasad. He said, someone rigging the foundry is not a viable vector.


Rigging the foundry is a routine practice in defense electronics applications.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby vijayk » 27 Oct 2010 20:00

Pranav wrote:
Gujarat Congress finds clue to EVM magic in elections

In a statement Gujarat Congress President Siddhartha Patel today pointed out case of EVM blunder in polling in Padra Nagarpalika. Elections for district and taluka panchayat and nagarpalikas were held in Gujarat today. What is more, he said, local polling officers documented the blunder and changed the EVM when 44 voters were registered by the machine as 111 voters.

In another booth, he said that voting in favour of Congress showed light representing BJP candidate. He has provided to media English version of the report of EVM blunder prepared by the Gujarat government officials.

"EVM has been started today 21.10.10 at polling booth number 6, 2/5 Bhailalbhai Bhaijibhai Patel Gujarati(Tower) Shala Number 2. In the booth 2/5 the EVM was started at 8 am. People voted here. After polling by 44 persons, the machine registered 111 votes.

After this in the polling unit 12311/ 0905 when one presses button for voting, there is light in front of another candidate also. As per the submission of voters, when one polls vote for Congress, there is light on the BJP candidate. This has been seen by Mamlatdar, Election officer and other staff. As a result this unit is changed and another machine has been put. This has been done in the presence of candidates. Signature of the candidates present at the time of the action."

http://www.gujaratglobal.com/index.php? ... &Itemid=38


Congress U-turn: finds fault with EVMs in Gujarat

Today, Congress spokesman Mohan Prakash defended his party’s U-turn on EVMs saying that the BJP allegation was “negative without evidence”, whereas the Congress has “evidence”. According to Prakash, at one polling booth the EVM registered 111 votes for BJP, whereas only 44 people had voted. At another booth, when a voter pressed a button to vote, the light in front of the other candidate’s name came on, he said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/congr ... t/700962/0




This news is enough to ban EVMs or introduce paper trail. If the paper trail is being opposed so strongly by the corrupt ECs, there must be some reason. They are doing this at the behest of some one higher up in the Govt. which we all know who it is. Only the ITALIAN crowd controls this country. They may feel it is OK to keep EVMs because they can rig elections in a very sophisticated manner in close constituencies by altering 2-3% of votes.

This is not the first time we are hearing. In AP during 2009, the fraud was at 2 levels:

1. No matter which button is pressed, the hand symbol only lit up. They even discussed this on all TV channels in AP on the election day.
2. The illiterate voter asks the NGO agents manning booths to lamp or cycle, but the agent presses Hand. The voter gets no confirmation and the democracy is doomed.

We have to defeat physical rigging at all costs. But it does not mean, we build a non-trustworthy and subversive system to defeat rigging.

Why is the CON party, corrupt EC, corrupt mafia media are all united in opposing paper trail? Why?

The burden of proof is not on the one who alleges that there is possible fraud in EVMs. The burden of proof is on the EC and Govt. to prove that there are enough checks and balances built into the system to defeat any fraud by any party and verifiable. We can't trust the CON party or DIE-nasty or BJP or COMMIE goons or any other lafoongas.

Justice should not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done - Lord Hewart

Elections come under the same category. They are the heart of democracy. They can't be left to chance. Even if there is 0.00001% of nationwide rigging, we have to introduce mechanism to verify the EVMs. If not agreeable to ITALIAN oligarchy and their servants at EC, we have to ban them.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby ArmenT » 27 Oct 2010 20:37

vijayk wrote:They are doing this at the behest of some one higher up in the Govt. which we all know who it is. Only the ITALIAN crowd controls this country. They may feel it is OK to keep EVMs because they can rig elections in a very sophisticated manner in close constituencies by altering 2-3% of votes.

How about some actual proof of the Italian crowd controlling India like you allege? By the way, this might be a strange coincidence, but the last few posts you've made on this thread look a lot like Mr. Mehta's language writing style as well.

vijayk wrote:Why is the CON party, corrupt EC, corrupt mafia media are all united in opposing paper trail? Why?
....
The burden of proof is not on the one who alleges that there is possible fraud in EVMs. The burden of proof is on the EC and Govt. to prove that there are enough checks and balances built into the system to defeat any fraud by any party and verifiable. We can't trust the CON party or DIE-nasty or BJP or COMMIE goons or any other lafoongas.

Burden of proof is usually placed on the accuser. For example, I could publicly insinuate that you are an agent of <insert your country of choice here> or that you're a duplicate ID of Mr. Mehta. Doesn't mean anything unless I actually prove it ... catch my drift? EC did document their checks and balances publicly (though I'm not entirely satisfied that they're following what they documented personally, especially the bit about the anti-tamper seals on the machine itself).

Granted that the EC isn't making verifying the checks and balances in place any easier. Would have been nice if they'd opened up the code and design for anyone to verify.

vijayk wrote:Elections come under the same category. They are the heart of democracy. They can't be left to chance. Even if there is 0.00001% of nationwide rigging, we have to introduce mechanism to verify the EVMs. If not agreeable to ITALIAN oligarchy and their servants at EC, we have to ban them.

By this logic, Indians should have banned all political parties a long time ago. Paper ballots have been rigged by them for a very long time. Again, would like to see some proof of the "ITALIAN oligarchy" controlling the people at the EC, as you allege it (Remember, burden of proof on the accuser).

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 27 Oct 2010 21:51

Pranav wrote:
Dileep wrote:That is exactly what I got an opinion from Mr. Prasad. He said, someone rigging the foundry is not a viable vector.


Rigging the foundry is a routine practice in defense electronics applications.


Please quote any precedence. If that were really the case, all the COTS stuff would be gone 400% from US's own defence systems by now and the number of foundries would go up (they are actually going down due to economics of running one).

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Pranav » 27 Oct 2010 22:27

Raja Bose wrote:
Pranav wrote:
Rigging the foundry is a routine practice in defense electronics applications.


Please quote any precedence.


See Cyberwar - Old Trick Threatens the Newest Weapons - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/science/27trojan.html

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby vijayk » 27 Oct 2010 23:06

ArmenT wrote:

Burden of proof is usually placed on the accuser.


EC did document their checks and balances publicly (though I'm not entirely satisfied that they're following what they documented personally, especially the bit about the anti-tamper seals on the machine itself).


The elections are heart of the democracy. They should be like "Caesar's wife should be above suspicion".

In this case the burden is not on the accuser.

"Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done"


There is a reason why judges are asked to recuse themselves when there is a even an appearance of conflict of interest.

The only way to prevent fraud using EVMs is to keep a trail.

ArmenT wrote:Granted that the EC isn't making verifying the checks and balances in place any easier. Would have been nice if they'd opened up the code and design for anyone to verify.


Caesar's wife should be above suspicion".
"Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done"

They are blatant in their efforts to reject any paper trace. If they are not participants in fraudulent schemes, what are they afraid of? No one is prosecuting them. We want a fraud free election in future. The people in charge are afraid of it. The needle of suspicion points to them.

ArmenT wrote:By this logic, Indians should have banned all political parties a long time ago. Paper ballots have been rigged by them for a very long time. Again, would like to see some proof of the "ITALIAN oligarchy" controlling the people at the EC, as you allege it (Remember, burden of proof on the accuser).


This is how dumbest arguments are made by fools like you. The accountability of EVMs is the problems here. The simplest way is to add paper trail to prevent large scale, sophisticated fraud which lot of people suspect happened in 2009. There are enough documented ways to commit this fraud. It might have happened or might not.

The foolish argument is to muddy the waters and avoid the real issue; we should ban parties; we should ban democracy; we should ban India and go back to Princely states; may be blah blah ...

The accusers has several reasons. Every political party including CON party has alleged EVM fraud. All the thieves are united in preventing every verifiable mechanism.

You even are not satisfied with anything but you are gungho about the process.

By the way...

I am here. I am there. I span across the continents. I span across time and space. I am every where. I am RM. I am vijayk. I am every body. Be afraid. Be very afraid. I am watching you here and watching you there. :P

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 27 Oct 2010 23:11

^^Where does it say that foundries were compromised? The article points out that such stuff is plausible hence, they want to prepare for any such eventuality because "Only the Paranoid Survive".

Here we have a different issue - we have dear Mehta ji claiming on the basis of lack of any evidence that such stuff has already happened and is happening in full force. It is one thing to secure one's systems against future threats. It is a completely different thing to claim a system is inherently flawed and ask for its demise. The former would imply India start doing its own manufacturing or in context of above article, US start taking measures to ensure there are proper process safeguard during design, manufacturing and deployment. The latter would imply India stop using EVMs completely or US ban all defence systems immediately which have any COTS ICs, which is what Mehta ji is trying to disingenuously suggest. Mr. Prasad to his credit, is for the former approach hence, in my opinion he has a lot more credibility (despite not proving all the concerns true) than Mehta ji.

In the end there is no system on this earth which is 100% secure or can be made 100% secure - that is the simple truth of security.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Pranav » 28 Oct 2010 00:47

Raja Bose wrote:^^Where does it say that foundries were compromised? The article points out that such stuff is plausible hence, they want to prepare for any such eventuality because "Only the Paranoid Survive".


The focus of the article is on compromised ICs. An excerpt -

A recent White House review noted that there had been several “unambiguous, deliberate subversions” of computer hardware.

“These are not hypothetical threats,” the report’s author, Melissa Hathaway, said in an e-mail message. “We have witnessed countless intrusions that have allowed criminals to steal hundreds of millions of dollars and allowed nation-states and others to steal intellectual property and sensitive military information.”
...
Separately, an American semiconductor industry executive said in an interview that he had direct knowledge of the operation and that the technology for disabling the radars was supplied by Americans to the Israeli electronic intelligence agency, Unit 8200.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 28 Oct 2010 01:10

Pranav, The first quote is pretty vague on what has been stolen worth hundreds of millions of dollars and how. The examples she cites have more to do with network and associated software weaknesses rather than hardware. And considering this article is written by John Markoff (remember the whole Mitnick/Tsutomu drama?), I don't rate it too highly in terms of background research. The 2nd quote is about a kill-switch. There is nothing rogue about kill-switches or backdoors because they are put there on purpose by the manufacturer and in case of defence equipment, if you are just a client who is paying to acquire a finished product, you don't get access to underlying technology except what is required for maintainance due to IPR and other sensitivity issues. OTOH if you are the country who is getting those weapons designed and manufactured even though you are using COTS components, you will have full access to every aspect of their design and manufacture - this is always a requirement.

In case of the EVM, if India for example, were using Diebold machines then the whole concept of not having complete access would come about since India would be acquiring an existing product for a price. However, in this case the EVMs are custom designed and manufactured for India hence, there is no question of GoI being denied access to any part of manufacturing or design. Moreover, none of its components are custom designed or have any significant IPR issues, having being used for the last 2 decades.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Pranav » 28 Oct 2010 01:28

Raja Bose wrote:Pranav, The first quote is pretty vague on what has been stolen worth hundreds of millions of dollars and how. The examples she cites have more to do with network and associated software weaknesses rather than hardware. And considering this article is written by John Markoff (remember the whole Mitnick/Tsutomu drama?), I don't rate it too highly in terms of background research.


The main point is that hardware Trojans have been used, and are a factor that must be taken into account.

But as military planners have come to view cyberspace as an impending battlefield, American intelligence agency experts said, all sides are arming themselves with the ability to create hardware Trojan horses and to hide them deep inside the circuitry of computer hardware and electronic devices to facilitate military attacks.


Raja Bose wrote:The 2nd quote is about a kill-switch. There is nothing rogue about kill-switches or backdoors because they are put there on purpose by the manufacturer and in case of defence equipment, if you are just a client who is paying to acquire a finished product, you don't get access to underlying technology except what is required for maintainance due to IPR and other sensitivity issues. OTOH if you are the country who is getting those weapons designed and manufactured even though you are using COTS components, you will have full access to every aspect of their design and manufacture - this is always a requirement.


More about kill-switches from http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors ... l-switch/0:

Almost all FPGAs are now made at foundries outside the United States, about 80 percent of them in Taiwan. Defense contractors have no good way of guaranteeing that these economical chips haven't been tampered with. Building a kill switch into an FPGA could mean embedding as few as 1000 transistors within its many hundreds of millions. ”You could do a lot of very interesting things with those extra transistors,” Collins says.

The rogue additions would be nearly impossible to spot. Say those 1000 transistors are programmed to respond to a specific 512-bit sequence of numbers. To discover the code using software testing, you might have to cycle through every possible numerical combination of 512-bit sequences. That's 13.4 × 10153 combinations. (For perspective, the universe has existed for about 4 × 1017 seconds.) And that's just for the 512-bit number--the actual number of bits in the code would almost certainly be unknown. So you'd have to apply the same calculations to all possible 1024-bit numbers, and maybe even 2048-bit numbers, says Tim Holman, a research associate professor of electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. ”There just isn't enough time in the universe.”

Those extra transistors could create a kill switch or a backdoor in any chip, not just an FPGA. Holman sketches a possible scenario: suppose those added transistors find their way into a networking chip used in the routers connecting the computers in your home, your workplace, banks, and military bases with the Internet. The chip functions perfectly until it receives that 512-bit sequence, which could be transmitted from anywhere in the world. The sequence prompts the router to hang up. Thinking it was the usual kind of bug, tech support would reset the router, but on restart the chip would again immediately hang up, preventing the router from connecting to the outside world. Meanwhile, the same thing would be happening to similarly configured routers the world over.

The router scenario also illustrates that the nation's security and economic well-being depend on shoring up not just military chips but also commercial chips. An adversary who succeeded in embedding a kill switch in every commercial router could devastate national security without ever targeting the Defense Department directly.

A kill switch or backdoor built into an encryption chip could have even more disastrous consequences. Today encoding and decoding classified messages is done completely by integrated circuit--no more Enigma machine with its levers and wheels. Most advanced encryption schemes rely on the difficulty that computers have in factoring numbers containing hundreds of digits; discovering a 512-bit type of encryption would take some machines up to 149 million years. Encryption that uses the same code or key to encrypt and decrypt information--as is often true--could easily be compromised by a kill switch or a backdoor. No matter what precautions are taken at the programming level to safeguard that key, one extra block of transistors could undo any amount of cryptography, says John East, CEO of Actel Corp., in Mountain View, Calif., which supplies military FPGAs.

”Let's say I can make changes to an insecure FPGA's hardware,” says East. ”I could easily put a little timer into the circuit. The timer could be programmed with a single command: ’Three weeks after you get your configuration, forget it.' If the FPGA were to forget its configuration information, the entire security mechanism would be disabled.”

Alternately, a kill switch might be programmed to simply shut down encryption chips in military radios; instead of scrambling the signals they transmit, the radios would send their messages in the clear, for anybody to pick up. ”Just like we figured out how the Enigma machine worked in World War II,” says Stanford's Adler, ”one of our adversaries could in principle figure out how our electronic Enigma machines work and use that information to decode our classified communications.”


Raja Bose wrote:In case of the EVM, if India for example, were using Diebold machines then the whole concept of not having complete access would come about since India would be acquiring an existing product for a price. However, in this case the EVMs are custom designed and manufactured for India hence, there is no question of GoI being denied access to any part of manufacturing or design. Moreover, none of its components are custom designed or have any significant IPR issues, having being used for the last 2 decades.


You are making several assumptions - (1) that a party that pays for full access is actually given full access (2) people controlling the GoI do not want to rig elections. Remember we are a nation whose Chief Vigilance Commissioner Thomas is a suspected criminal, presently out of jail on bail.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Virupaksha » 28 Oct 2010 01:39

Raja Bose wrote:In case of the EVM, if India for example, were using Diebold machines then the whole concept of not having complete access would come about since India would be acquiring an existing product for a price. However, in this case the EVMs are custom designed and manufactured for India hence, there is no question of GoI being denied access to any part of manufacturing or design. Moreover, none of its components are custom designed or have any significant IPR issues, having being used for the last 2 decades.

You might be right about diebolds and all. But definitely
not sure about your part of EVM though.

What you said was not the case with Indian EVM is the EXACT defence of EVMs given by EC :rotfl:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/09/02/stories ... 281100.htm

suddenly the ECIL and BEL representatives began to protest, and claimed that he was violating the companies' ‘intellectual property rights'.


though the interesting part is

in 2006 they withdrew their applications when it became clear that the applications would be rejected. The two outfits do not hold an international patent.

:rotfl:

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 28 Oct 2010 01:47

Pranav wrote:The main point is that hardware Trojans have been used, and are a factor that must be taken into account.


That is why I asked for precedence i.e. examples where they have been used in the field.

Pranav wrote:More about kill-switches from http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors ... l-switch/0:

Almost all FPGAs are now made at foundries outside the United States, about 80 percent of them in Taiwan. Defense contractors have no good way of guaranteeing that these economical chips haven't been tampered with. Building a kill switch into an FPGA could mean embedding as few as 1000 transistors within its many hundreds of millions. ”You could do a lot of very interesting things with those extra transistors,” Collins says.


Yes, everything is plausible. That is why process is an important part of security and like I mentioned in my previous post, one needs to guard against future threats. If it can happen, it must be secured against but security is always best-effort. Also, let us not confuse "can happen" with "is happening or has already happened" because there is a very large gap between the two. The arguments being used to claim EVMs are weak apply equally to all electronic devices some of which are way more critical to everyday life - yet, you don't see them act funny every day, do you? There is a reason for that.

Pranav wrote:Why do you think people controlling the GoI don't want to rig elections?


Then they won't be going :(( :(( about rigged EVMs themselves because that just brings more scrutiny on the EVMs. The day all parties go :(( :(( about EVMs, you can be rest assured that they are truly secure from the thieving tactics of the netas. Also our wise Mehta-ji claims it is all CIA's game, who are we mere mortals to doubt him. :mrgreen:

EVMs like all systems (electronic or non-electronic) have their weaknesses - what is important is to assess them, secure against them and keep doing that iteratively while ensuring that the benefits do not get diluted. If the EVM had no tangible benefits, it would not be used in the first place and till now apart from rhetoric and allegations by Mehta ji, I have not seen anything which implies that the EVM's weaknesses outweigh its benefits or that there is no way to secure against any of the proposed threat scenarios. Right now all that is happening is churning of the same old debate.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raja Bose » 28 Oct 2010 01:55

ravi_ku wrote:
What you said was not the case with Indian EVM is the EXACT defence of EVMs given by EC :rotfl:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/09/02/stories ... 281100.htm

suddenly the ECIL and BEL representatives began to protest, and claimed that he was violating the companies' ‘intellectual property rights'.



You are mixing up IPR for the board level design with IPR for the ICs. In context of Pranav's post I was referring to IPR for the ICs which have been around for a large number of years (you probably have 6-12 of them around you right now). The IPR for the ICs is not owned by ECIL/BEL and is licensed to them by Microchip etc.. I do not condone the ham fisted approach by ECIL/BEL. In fact, on this thread it was suggested they should simply make the people who wanted to hack the EVM sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and then provide them access - this is a standard practice the world over. Unfortunately such paranoia just provides fodder for the conspiracy theorists.

ravi_ku wrote:though the interesting part is

in 2006 they withdrew their applications when it became clear that the applications would be rejected. The two outfits do not hold an international patent.


Yes, they will be rejected because there is nothing novel about the Indian EVM's board level design which has not already been covered by prior art. I am not sure how that seems relevant to you in any way in context of the security aspects of the EVM. :-? Also, do remember that applying for a patent implies it will be made public within 18 months so if they had anything to hide in the design itself, they would not have applied for a patent in the first place and would just classify it as a trade secret (common practice in industry esp. in defence).

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Pranav » 28 Oct 2010 01:59

Raja Bose wrote:That is why I asked for precedence i.e. examples where they have been used in the field.


There are at least 2 precedents for hardware Trojans in that article - the stolen secrets and the radar kill-switches.

Raja Bose wrote:Then they won't be going :(( :(( about rigged EVMs themselves because that just brings more scrutiny on the EVMs. The day all parties go :(( :(( about EVMs, you can be rest assured that they are truly secure from the thieving tactics of the netas. Also our wise Mehta-ji claims it is all CIA's game, who are we mere mortals to doubt him. :mrgreen:


Actually the Congress axed its spokesman for complaining about use of EVMs in the Gujarat municipal elections. The ruling party at the center seems desperate maintain credibility of EVMs, irrespective of what may happen in lesser battles.


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