A very disturbing security concern over Indian Electronic Voting Machines has emerged recently. VeTA has performed a kind-of sting operation on Indian EVMs and has published a white paper briefing the security flaws in the Voting machines. VeTA is an independant National level citizen’s forum for promoting Verifiability, Transparency and Accountability in Indian Elections. Some of the well known computer experts, political scientists, public activists, legal professionals, academicians have come together to analyze the state of Indian Elections. On Saturday, August 21 2010, Hari Prasad, Chief Technical Coordinator of VeTA was arrested for the possession of Electronic Voting Machine, which apparently was acquired through anonymous insider source! The Anonymity is still not revealed.
VeTA did a very thorough analysis on the EVM Hardware and software and proved in various ways that the EVM can be hacked and the results be easily manipulated. VeTA not just content with the findings went on to publish a white paper based on the findings. Now the whole world knows that Indian EVMs are not tamper-proof and the findings are completely contrary to the claim from Indian Election Commission “totally tamper proof, perfect, fail safe and requiring no improvement”.
I am surprised why Indian government and Election commission would have disallowed any independant security evaluation! This raises a serious integrity concern about ECI. While the cyber-hackers are growing powerful and while the cyber security is always playing a catch up game with cyber attacks, this lack of concern and total underestimation of EVM Hacking from ECI needs to be addressed immediately. I think ’sting’ operations are the only way to reform the Indian government and remove the inefficiency and corruption from it.
You can watch the video below to understand the technical flaws of the voting machines and how naive the security mechanisms are.