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[News] What Happens When a Vulnerable O/S is Put in Mission-critical Setting?

Feds to Toughen E-Voting Standards?  

,----[ Quote ]
| The NIST is also going to recommend changes to the design
| of machines equipped with paper rolls that provide audit trails.
`----                       ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


ATM system called unsafe

,----[ Quote ]
| The report has ignited a debate within the banking industry,
| with many financial industry experts downplaying the
| seriousness of the flaw and outside experts divided on
| its implications. But there is no disputing the impact
| that such a hack would have if successful.


I am not entirely sure that Linux would resolve the latter, but as for the

Polling places turn to paper ballots after glitches

,----[ Quote ]
| Pennsylvania's Lebanon County also extended polling hours
| because a programming error forced some voters to
| cast paper ballots.


Would open source make elections fair?

,----[ Quote ]
| I will line up and use a Diebold voting machine, like everyone
| else in Georgia, and hope that the vote count is accurate. But
| that's all it will be, a hope. As last week's HBO special
| revealed the machines and (more important) the system is both
| closed-source and easy to hack.


96% don't trust the machines, according to the poll.

,----[ Quote ]
| "Nineteen machines had 21 screen freezes or system crashes, producing a
| blue screen and messages about an "illegal operation" or a "fatal
| exception error."
| "Especially with this blue-screen problem, you don't know whether it's
| the printer drivers, you don't know whether it's Diebold's own code or
| whether it's Windows,"


Diebold quietly repaired voting machines

,----[ Quote ]
| The unpredictable freezes don't cause votes to be lost, officials
| said, but they confuse voters and election judges who sometimes
| wonder whether votes cast on a frozen machine will be counted.
| [...]
| Diebold Election Systems quietly replaced flawed components in
| several thousand Maryland voting machines in 2005 to fix a
| "screen-freeze" problem the company had discovered three years
| earlier, according to published reports Thursday.


Brasil prefers Linux. It won't BSoD and the system's code is open for public
review, which established confidence.

E-Voting Raises New Questions in Brazil

,----[ Quote ]
| Some Brazilians are lobbying the tribunal to switch from Windows CE to
| an open-source operating system for the voting machines, since Microsoft
| Corp., citing trade secrecy, won't allow independent audits to make
| sure malicious programmers haven't inserted commands to "flip" votes
| from one candidate to another.
| [...]
| Fontoura confirmed that Brazil is considering a move away from
| crosoft's proprietary code -- "We are studying the possibility of using an 
| open-source program like Linux in future elections. This would make the 
| entire process much more transparent and far less expensive," he said.


As regards Windows-based ATM's, here are some recent stories:

Why not Embedded? ATM's Running XP Professional...

,----[ Quote ]
| This time, I happened to be there when it suddenly BSOD'd and began a
| reboot cycle. Obviously, to BSOD it needs to run Windows, and moments
| later, that was confirmed. But that's not the story here -- believe it or
| not, most ATMs run Windows nowadays, and there's absoloutely nothing
| wrong with that.
| [...]
| There's a million reasons why an ATM should must be RTOS, be it Linux or 
| VxWorks or Windows CE, but even if you don't go with RTOS, Windows XP 
| Professional most certainly isn't the answer. Especially if it's not even 
| SP2.


ATMs hacked using MP3 player

,----[ Quote ]
| A criminal gang in the U.K. was able to steal confidential banking
| data by bugging ATMs with an MP3 player, The Times of London
| reported in its online edition Thursday.


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