- No matter how many times General/Diebold/Premier changed their name to try and hide the scandals the voters still don't trust their voting machines.
- Regardless of the fact that HAVA's author, Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney, and Diebold's lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, have been convicted and imprisoned this is still bad law and the voters still don't trust electronic voting.
- It does matter when computer scientists examine electronic voting equipment and find them wanting in the most fundamental aspects; citizens believe the experts.
- Regardless of the number of voters purged from statewide voter registration databases by dubious means the public trust in their election officials is not enhanced.
- No matter how many times Secretaries of State in several states decertified and recertified the voting equipment the public still did not believe the vote counts produced by electronic voting machines were transparent, accurate, and secure.
- The number of "glitches," finger pointing, and blaming everything but the electronic voting machines for the hundreds of documented disasters and catastrophes using these machines has exceeded the bounds of credibility for even the most trusting citizen.
- The only people who doubted the integrity and security of electronic voting were not just "kooks, weirdos, and scared spitless computer geeks," as the New York Times put it.
- The widely advertised problems with Microsoft Windows security and the quarter million or so known viruses, trojan horses, etc. for that operating system are nothing to worry about has been anything but convincing to concerned citizens, and they are not simply computerphobes.
- Or, as Mary Mancini puts it,
"OK, let's just say, for arguments sake, that there was no malicious intent behind the myriad of electronic voting machines problems. OK, I know. Stop laughing! I am trying to prove a point here.Let's just say the vote flipping problems are caused by 'buggy' software created by inept programmers and the malfunctioning printers are because of cheaply made, bottom-line-only conscious hardware manufacturers. Let's just say that the companies that made these machines won government contracts, took our hard-earned tax dollars, and delivered, in the words of Doug Kellner,Co-Chair of the New York State Board of Elections, 'crap.' I'm just saying, let's just say. So if that's that case, wouldn't it be prudent for state governments to decertify these machines, stop using them, and throw the companies, a.k.a. crooks and liars, in the pile of non-responsible vendors they refuse to do business with? I mean, if the machines are crap than how can we rely on their results, right?OK, you can stop stifling your giggles now."
- It doesn't matter that after promising to deliver Ohio for Bush in 2004 using Diebold machines that their CEO, Wally O'Dell, resigned, the public still doesn't trust their equipment despite the claim that their ATM machines are impenetrable. Or are they?
The scam netted the alleged identity thieves millions of dollars. But more importantly for consumers, it indicates criminals were able to access PINs - the numeric passwords that theoretically are among the most closely guarded elements of banking transactions - by attacking the back-end computers responsible for approving the cash withdrawals.
The case against three people in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York highlights a significant problem.
Hackers are targeting the ATM system's infrastructure, which is increasingly built on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system and allows machines to be remotely diagnosed and repaired over the Internet. And despite industry standards that call for protecting PINs with strong encryption - which means encoding them to cloak them to outsiders - some ATM operators apparently aren't properly doing that. The PINs seem to be leaking while in transit between the automated teller machines and the computers that process the transactions.
"PINs were supposed be sacrosanct - what this shows is that PINs aren't always encrypted like they're supposed to be," said Avivah Litan, a security analyst with the Gartner research firm. "The banks need much better fraud detection systems and much better authentication."
That responsibility falls on two companies: Houston-based Cardtronics Inc., which owns all the machines but only operates some, and Brookfield, Wisconsin-based Fiserv Inc., which operates the others.
All that's known is they broke into the ATM network through a server at a third-party processor, which means they probably didn't have to touch the ATMs at all to pull off the heist.
Getting the PINs is a key step for identity thieves. It lets criminals encode stolen account information onto blank ATM cards and withdraw piles of cash from compromised accounts.
Defense lawyers for all three people did not return calls for comment, and it was not clear where they had been living. The main defendant, Rakushchynets, was described as having Michigan and Florida's driver licenses in a February FBI affidavit for an arrest warrant.
Citibank, part of Citigroup Inc., has declined to comment on the technique or how many customers' accounts were compromised. It said it notified affected customers and issued them new debit cards.
Cardtronics said it is cooperating with authorities but otherwise declined to comment. Fiserv spokeswoman Melanie Tolley said the intrusion didn't happen on Fiserv's servers.