Decertifying the worst voting machine in the US

I’ve been in the security field for 30 years, and it takes a lot to surprise me. But the VITA report really shocked me – as bad as I thought the problems were likely to be, VITA’s five-page report showed that they were far worse. And the WinVote system was so fragile that it hardly took any effort. While the report does not state how much effort went into the investigation, my estimation based on the description is that it was less than a person week.

via Decertifying the worst voting machine in the US.

So how would someone use these vulnerabilities to change an election?

  1. Take your laptop to a polling place, and sit outside in the parking lot.
  2. Use a free sniffer to capture the traffic, and use that to figure out the WEP password (which VITA did for us).
  3. Connect to the voting machine over WiFi.
  4. If asked for a password, the administrator password is “admin” (VITA provided that).
  5. Download the Microsoft Access database using Windows Explorer.
  6. Use a free tool to extract the hardwired key (“shoup”), which VITA also did for us.
  7. Use Microsoft Access to add, delete, or change any of the votes in the database.
  8. Upload the modified copy of the Microsoft Access database back to the voting machine.
  9. Wait for the election results to be published.

The freedom to tinker blog has been doing research on voting machines for a very long time although in this case they are reporting the results of research done by Virginia IT people in their decertification. In the past most vulnerabilities uncovered required physical access to a voting machine and a bit of skullduggery making it difficult to change votes on a large scale. I simply cannot comprehend for what purpose these voting devices needed to be on a wifi network other than someone thought it was “cool.” This entire report is mind boggling and makes me wonder how many more areas of the country are doing this now.

IoT Hubs Expose Connected Homes to Hackers

Many of the most serious flaws revealed a kind of sloppiness in the design and production of the devices, Brandon Creighton, Veracode’s research architect, told The Security Ledger. For example: both the Ubi and Wink Relay devices left debugging interfaces exposed and unsecured in their shipped product.  That could provide an avenue for attackers who had access to the same network as the device to steal information or bypass other security controls.

Exposed debugging interfaces are useful during product testing, but have little or no utility to consumers. That suggests that the companies merely forgot to restrict access to them before shipping, Creighton said.

via Research: IoT Hubs Expose Connected Homes to Hackers | The Security Ledger.

Intel unveils tiny $99 MinnowBoard Max open SBC

The MinnowBoard Max will go on sale early in the third quarter. Two versions will be offered initially: a $99 entry-level model, with a 1.46GHz single-core E3815 SoC and 1GB RAM; and a $129 model, equipped with a 1.33GHz dual-core E3825 SoC and 2GB RAM. Additional details will soon be available at Minnowboard.org as well as at CircuitCo’s MinnowBoard product page.

via Intel unveils tiny $99 MinnowBoard Max open SBC ·  LinuxGizmos.com.

Are We Shooting Ourselves in the Foot with Stack Overflow?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a past couple of years, you must have heard of the Toyota unintended acceleration (UA) cases, where Camry and other Toyota vehicles accelerated unexpectedly and some of them managed to kill people and all of them scared the hell out of their drivers.

The recent trial testimony delivered at the Oklahoma trial by an embedded guru Michael Barr for the fist time in history of these trials offers a glimpse into the Toyota throttle control software. In his deposition, Michael explains how a stack overflow could corrupt the critical variables of the operating system (OSEK in this case), because they were located in memory adjacent to the top of the stack. The following two slides from Michael’s testimony explain the memory layout around the stack and why stack overflow was likely in the Toyota code (see the complete set of Michael’s slides).

via Are We Shooting Ourselves in the Foot with Stack Overflow? « State Space.

GSMA Creates Remotely Managed SIM For M2M Applications

To fix this issue, the GSMA has developed a non-removable SIM that can be embedded in a device for the duration of its life, and remotely assigned to a network. This information can be subsequently modified over-the-air, as many times as necessary.

The GSMA says its new SIM can reduce ongoing operational and logistical costs. Replacing one SIM is not going to break the bank, but replacing a few million could make a dent in any budget, it reckons.

via GSMA Creates Remotely Managed SIM For M2M Applications.

Goodbye Sticky. Hello Ara.

The design for Project Ara consists of what we call an endoskeleton endo and modules. The endo is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. A module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter–or something not yet thought of!

via The Official Motorola Blog: Goodbye Sticky. Hello Ara..

$199, 4.2” computer is Intel’s first Raspberry Pi competitor

One thing these platforms have in common is an ARM processor. Now they have some competition from Intel with its “MinnowBoard,” a $199 computer in the form of a 4.2″ x 4.2″ board with an Intel Atom processor.

via $199, 4.2” computer is Intel’s first Raspberry Pi competitor | Ars Technica.

MinnowBoard uses a 5V/2.5A power supply. Other specs are as follows:

  • Intel Atom E640 CPU (1.0GHz, 32-bit with Hyper-threading and Virtualization Technology)
  • Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 600
  • PCI Express
  • SATA2 3Gbps
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • >MicroSD
  • USB
  • UEFI Firmware
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM<
  • 8 GPIO pins
  • 2 GPIO-controlled LEDs
  • 4 GPIO switches

Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits

Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Since then Adafruit has grown to over 35 employees in the heart of NYC. We’ve expanded our offerings to include tools, equipment and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests and approves before going in to the Adafruit store. We pride ourselves on having great prices, the best customer service, technical support and fast shipping. We hope we can assist you on your journey of learning! Want to learn more? See what others are saying on the Adafruit press page!

via Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits.

From: Entrepreneur of 2012: Limor Fried

In October Fried moved her 35 employees from a 2,000-square-foot loft near Wall Street to a 12,000-square-foot industrial space in SoHo, then hired 15 more people. Just a week after the move, Fried was bubbling with excitement, obvious even over the din of 500 packages being prepped for the daily UPS shipment. “It’s a new chapter in the business,” she exclaims. “I think we can quadruple our current size.” No mean feat, considering Adafruit has shipped more than half a million kits in the last seven years, and revenue has doubled every year for the past three.

Here’s a comment from slashdot

I’m near retirement and have worked in embedded software for four different companies. In all my years of experience, the best engineers I have encountered were those educated at MIT. Limor Fried is not only from MIT, but she did a stint at the MIT media laboratory. I’ve bought lots of products from her and the quality is first rate, her circuit boards are works of art with tin plating on the solder pads (compare that to a Velleman board) and legible annotation.