[E-voting] Legal proceedings + European Election...

Adrian Colley aecolley at spamcop.net
Wed Dec 3 20:27:09 GMT 2003


On Wed, Dec 03, 2003 at 05:56:59PM +0100, David GLAUDE wrote:
> Please don't forget to ask for the e-voting system to be Tempest protected!!

Uh oh.  I forgot about that.  For those not in the know, Tempest
is a code word for electromagnetic snooping.  It's usual for military
electronics to be "Tempest hardened" in order to shield them from
high-tech spying, disruptive interference, and EMPs.  It isn't an
exaggeration these days to consider an election to be a military
target.  In any case, a non-Tempest-hardened voting machine is
likely to leak emissions that give a suitably-equipped passer-by
the details of each voter's preferences.

I don't know if KEMA Quality BV and TNO did Tempest testing.  Anyone?
Martin Cullen has promised that the count PCs will be "security
hardened", but since they run Windows, that could just mean the
Messenger service is disabled.  (And he promised a lot of things.)

Tempest is mostly secret as far I can tell, but a few years ago a
fascinating insight came from a Cambridge research project into
Tempest-on-the-cheap:

    <URL:http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ih98-tempest.pdf> Soft
    Tempest: Hidden Data Transmission Using Electromagnetic Emanations,
    appeared in David Aucsmith (Ed.): Information Hiding, Second
    International Workshop, IH'98, Portland, Oregon, USA, April
    15-17, 1998, Proceedings, LNCS 1525, Springer-Verlag, ISBN
    3-540-65386-4, pp. 124-142,
    <URL:http://link.springer.de/link/service/series/0558/tocs/t1525.htm>.
    This paper presents a few interesting new twists on eavesdropping
    computers using their compromising electromagnetic emanations
    as well as some software protection techniques (slides
    <URL:http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ih98-tempest-slides.pdf>).

 --Adrian.

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