TSE makes changes to increase security in electronic voting machines

Among the changes is to improve the systems for voting voters with visual disabilities.
19/08/2016 08h41 - Updated 19/08/2016 15h30
Photo: reproduction

The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) reported today (16) that solved the problems encountered in the Security Public Test 2016 by a group of researchers in electronic voting machines at the beginning of the year. The solutions were checked by investigators on Thursday. Among the changes is to improve the systems for voting voters with visual disabilities.

In March this year, three days, Computer experts tried to break the security of electronic voting machines. This was the third edition of the test and this year's edition of the differential is that it was the first after the court passed a resolution making mandatory testing before the elections.

"Right now we're just at the end of the test event is to verify the effectiveness of corrective actions taken on the weaknesses found in this safety test", said Secretary of TSE Information Technology, Giusepe Janino.

Audio Capture
The group was now in the TSE consists of members of the University of Taubaté (SP). The test done by them found the possibility of audio capture issued by the ballot box during voting visually impaired people. Second or tribunal, when a person who has this deficiency will vote, it can make use of a headset to listen to audio from the urn orally confirms the numbers that the person entered.

"We realized that one possibility would be to work with the audio of the urn. In this case we see that audio could be captured in the external environment ", says the professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Taubaté Luis Fernando de Almeida, or integrating researchers. The teacher says that the audio was captured would need someone to put an external device on the machine.

Another factor considered was the possibility that the audio is activated without the voter knew. "This violation is the connivance, the participation of people who are there wrapped this session so that someone has to put this device. So there are two things, in our view, that they are important. First: someone put the device and others do not realize or are participating, and another factor is, audio, when enabled, the voter does not know ".

Suggestions to TSE
After the test in March, the group made suggestions to the TSE to address the vulnerability. "The two options we talked about was to strengthen monitoring in the ballot box for constant checking if it is intact and no one put any external device that could not and she be more transparent with respect to its interaction with the voter, that is, if his board member enable audio, or audio already come previously enabled, have some way of knowing the voter be able to question. These were some of the suggestions we made ", says Almeida.

Second or TSE, the problem was resolved and, from now on, the audio of the urn will be activated by a code that will be enabled by the board member. Activation will only happen when the voter who need to make use of the resource reach the section for which to vote. According to the Court's information, a message on the screen will inform the voter that the audio has been activated, like this, the person who does not have visual impairment can verify that the feature has been activated and thus report the problem to the section of the poll workers.

"The importance [test] It is to demonstrate the difference that Brazil has. It is the only country in the world that performs an event of this magnitude, that is, open its electoral system so that any hackers will try to break the security barriers. The most important it is to give contribution, to show possible points of weaknesses and enable us to come to do the corrective actions ", said Janino.

Source: Agency Brazil

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