2012 ELECTION SECURITY NEWS BULLETIN
 
Greetings!
This election season, I took it upon myself to try to educate the public about the importance of reform regarding our election systems.  My firm has been performing investigations regarding electronically stored information and reporting those findings to government, law firms, corporations and various non-profits for over a decade.  We have worked on more than 500 case matters that involved investigating trade secret misappropriation, producing electronically stored emails, cell phone stored data, deleted data and investigating security breaches involving patient medical records and dissemination of company information and trade secrets.

 

Last year, our firm was invited to consider bidding on the Suburban Cook County audit of electronic voting equipment.  We passed on a chance to bid on an RFP I deemed a waste of tax payer money.  After having attempted to have a sit down with elected officials to share my concerns, I took some of my findings public and reported them to the press.

 

I have attempted to reach out directly to various elected officials and governmental agencies in an attempt to garner the necessary attention to create reform with regard to how we elect our officials so that our democratic process has integrity at the ballot box. 

 

Recently, I have been consumed with the fallout from discovering and blogging about a recent security breach with the chicagoelections.com website, the third of its kind reported since 2006. This is a concerning situation and one that needs to be remedied. My reporting on our firm's findings to the public thus far has been limited in an effort to allow law enforcement time to ensure that any leaked information was not further disseminated.

 

It is clear to me that effective steps need to be taken to reform our election process. Some of these steps should include a halt to purely electronic votes and tabulations that lack a simultaneous tamper evident paper trail, secured by a truly tamper evident seal.  Ohio passed a law recently that requires a printed voter verified audit trail that allows a voter to verify their vote selections before finalizing their ballot.  This measure is something I would strongly urge Illinois and Indiana to adopt.  Presently, there are jurisdictions within Illinois and Indiana that lack a real-time tamper evident paper audit trail.  Until reform is brought about in this area, voters should contact their elected officials and insist upon reform and change.

 

Introduction of new voting equipment that has been vetted by independent computer security personnel is needed to ensure that effective measures of control are in place across the nation. 

 

There are a number of election related stories as well as news coverage that our firm has been involved with over the last few weeks that I wanted to share with you that either involved our firm directly or was written by our staff. I would encourage you to pass this information on to your friends, colleagues and elected officials in an effort to bring about much needed reform.

  

Sincerely yours,

  

Lee Neubecker
 Chicago Board of Elections Website Breach
Forensicon uncovered and reported a massive security breach at the Chicago Board of Election's website chicagoelections.com. The last time this happened was back in 2006 when past and present Chairman of the Board of Elections ordered a computer forensics audit, yet here we are again with another major breach of voters' personal information.

 

The security breach was discovered when I was attempting to access the Chicago Board of Elections website chicagoelections.com. Read More...


Click on links below for more news coverage of the Chicago Board of Election's website breach.
Can Electronic Voting Fraud Really Happen?
The Potential of Electronic Voting Fraud
As voters head to the polls to vote, I advised everyone to select a paper ballot if afforded the opportunity. While reviewing Cook County, Illinois' Request For Proposal (RFP) for a Forensic Audit of Election Equipment last year, Forensicon identified potential weaknesses in the current electronic voting equipment used by Cook County, Illinois for elections.  I opted out of bidding on the Cook County voter forensic audit because the process as observed lacked any clear integrity.  Efforts were made to reach out to the Cook County leadership in an attempt to communicate what was observed, but no response was received by governmental leadership. Read More...
Step in the Right Direction....Ohio Law Requires Paper Trail
Ohio ORC 3506.1 requires all electronic voting to be rendered to a physical printed copy in addition to any electronic means used to record and transmit the ballot count. "Voter verified paper audit trail" means a physical paper printout on which the voter's ballot choices, as registered by a direct recording electronic voting machine, are recorded. The voter shall be permitted to visually or audibly inspect the contents of the physical paper printout. Read More... 
Close to Home: Observations from Gary, IN
I observed the voting process and equipment used in Gary Indiana. While onsite, I interviewed one of the election poll workers regarding some of the observations I made about the voting equipment being used. These observations led me to be concerned about the potential for vote tampering. I approached two of the election poll workers with my concerns about the votes cast earlier in the day and the possibility of losing votes cast as intended due to the lack of real-time printing. One of the election poll workers expressed that she shared my concerns. My main concerns are that the vote tallies do not print as submitted by the voter, there was a lack of a security seal on the unit and an absence of batteries inside the unit I was able to examine. Read More...
 Employee Turnover During the Holidays
Are You Prepared to Respond to a Key Employee's Departure?
The holiday season is often a busy time for employees at all levels of a company. Between end-of-year financial reports and hectic vacation schedules, it's no wonder the holiday season is a prime time to find yourself working with a computer forensics firm. We see it every year - fraud schemes uncovered due to co-workers being on vacation and employees wanting to start out the new year with a new employer. IT departments often overwhelmed making last minute capital purchases and upgrades are too busy to monitor employee activities. Save yourself some time now and check out our detailed steps to follow when an employee leaves. Read More...
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