UPDATE: DoD Confirms It's Ditching Serve For Time Being
The Department of Defense admits the online-voting system is too insecure.
The Department of Defense has confirmed that it will indefinitely shelve its online-voting initiative known as the Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment, or Serve. The project sparked much controversy recently when several security experts published a report that concluded that the Internet and current software applications are inherently too insecure to provide a trustworthy platform for voting.
Serve was designed as an experiment to test the feasibility of Internet voting as a way to make it easier for the 6 million overseas civilians and military personnel. A limited pilot available to 100,000 voters was planned for the November general election.
Now, Defense says there are too many security questions to take the risk. "We will continue to investigate technologies to cast ballots over the Internet," a spokeswoman says, but an actual Internet election will only take place "if it can be shown that the integrity of the election can be ensured."
That's exactly what a team of computer scientists said was not possible with current technology. In the 34-page report, made available in mid-January, the researchers warn that Serve is vulnerable to the kinds of attacks that are launched against business-technology systems every day, including insider abuse, denial-of-service attacks, spoofing, and virus attacks aimed at the PCs of Internet voters. They also warn of automated vote buying.
One of the primary flaws, the researchers say, is that Serve provides no paper trail to confirm final tallies should it be attacked, or to even refute claims that the system was compromised.
"The vulnerabilities we describe cannot be fixed by design or bug fixes to Serve," the report states. "These vulnerabilities are fundamental in the architecture of the Internet and of the PC hardware and software that is ubiquitous today."
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.