CT

Here’s How Russia May Have Already Hacked the 2018 Midterm Elections

New article from Newsweek: Here’s How Russia May Have Already Hacked the 2018 Midterm Elections  <read>

They are talking about PA, but the same could apply to Connecticut:

Even though Bucks County’s Shouptronics aren’t wired, hackers have several ways of compromising them. The most direct and effective way would be to replace a computer chip in the machine that holds instructions on what to do when voters press the buttons with one that holds instructions written by hackers.

Do Connecticut’s Tamper-“Evident” Seals Protect Our Ballots?

Experts and amateurs have long claimed that so called, tamper-evident seals are easy to defeat.

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

Often, as a computer scientist, I forget that what a very small minority know that becomes almost intuitive, is far from obvious to others approaching magic, a deluded conspiracy, or amateur science fiction.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. – Arthur C. Clarke
This article from Bloomberg News is a case in point.

Merrill: “likely to increase audits”

Merrill said her office will likely also increase its audits. Currently it randomly selects voting precincts to have primary results audited following elections; five percent of polling places that use optical scan machines are subject to the audit, as prescribed by Connecticut General Statutes 9-320f. Those counts are then matched against vote totals from optical scan machines.

 

Deputy Scott Bates Selects 36 Districts for Audit

On Thursday Deputy Secretary of the State Scott Bates selected 36 districts for the post-primary audit.<press release with selected districts>

Departing from past practice, the Official Audit Procedures, and the law as it has always been interpreted, the Deputy selected three statewide races from each party to be audited in their respective primaries and then selected only one party primary to be audited in each district. The Official Audit Procedures, and the law indicate that 5% of the districts in each primary be audited with a minimum of 20% of the races randomly selected by the municipal clerk from all races on each ballot.

WARNING:

THE ONLY WAY TO BE SURE YOUR VOTE WON’T COUNT – IS TO NOT VOTE.

Vote tomorrow. Your vote is very likely to make a difference!

The “Real” Lawyers Only Need Apply Rule

As this CTNewsJunkie post implies, it will always be called The Bysiewicz Test <read>

Ambiguously defined in law and only slightly less ambiguously by the Connecticut Supreme Court. All we know for sure is that you have to be a lawyer in CT for at least ten years and have different experience than Susan Bysiewicz had in 2010.  As I commented in on the article:

I always find it interesting that the AG and Judge of Probate are the only offices that have qualifications, as far as I know. They are both related to law. I wonder if the composition of the General Assembly makes the legislature realize how important qualifications are, in just these cases?

There remains no necessary training whatsoever to be Secretary of the State, while some of her employees, but not all, need to be lawyers to give advice to the public, would be candidates, and election officials. That could be going better, but of course, certification by itself does not preclude errors and incompetence, or as Jon Lender puts it Bungling

One blow behind closed doors, two blows to open government

Statement from the Connecticut Freedom of Information Council: Restore public access to public hearings

To the surprise of many, the vast majority of transcripts from public hearings held during the recently adjourned 2018 legislative session are not available. Officials from the Office of Legislative Management and the House and Senate say that transcription services have fallen victim to budget cuts, with the elimination of the service expected to save about $100,000 annually. The decision apparently was made without public input and has been condemned by open-government advocates.

This directly effects me, CT Voters Count, and the Citizen Audit. It effects anyone involved in the legislative process or litigation related to Connecticut law. This effects you indirectly, and significantly.

Life on the Internet “Frontier”

Today we all live on the Internet Frontier. Many of us in Connecticut had a reminder yesterday from our major communication provider Frontier Communications Corp.  As reported in the Hartford Courant: Customers Blast Frontier After Internet Outage

Customers of Frontier Communications Corp. in Connecticut complained Tuesday about lost internet service that the telecommunications company said was due to a software update…

What might we learn?

  • We are very dependent on a very risky infrastructure.
  • This is costly.

Testimony to the Connecticut Cybersecurity Task Force – UPDATED

I testified in my capacity as Executive Director of the Connecticut Citizen Election Audit. I was the only member of the public providing testimony.

Why are post-election audits and paper ballots a critical component of protecting our elections?  “[D}data protection involves prevention, detection, and recovery”.  Cybersecurity and other measures protecting voting equipment and voting systems are primarily prevention measures and to a lesser degree detection measures. No matter how much effort we put into cybersecurity, software testing, and hardware maintenance there will always be a significant level of vulnerability.

Paper ballots, sufficient post-election audits, and recounts provide a primary means of detecting cyber, software, human, and hardware failures. They also provide a means of recovery. They provide for, so called, software independent verification of election results, resulting in justified public confidence.