Gene Spafford, computer security expert and co-chair of the U.S. Association for Computing Machinery Public Policy Committee forwarded this article to USACM members (of which I’m one). It pinpoints a company, FixAVote.com, that supposedly offers “election outcome solutions”. If you look closely at the site, it is really tough to tell if it’s serious or a joke. Take a look – you’ll see what I mean.
Avi Rubin and Ed Felten, two other USACM members known for their research on the security of electronic voting machines (see my post, Fixing E-Voting, from a few weeks ago) were interviewed for the Computer World article. Zogby recapped TechDirt’s post on the site as well. For those knowledgeable about the issue and the security behind it, it was fairly clear it was a hoax, but it was done so deadpan that a little doubt was left.
Bruce Schneier, another computer security (crypto, for those of you who don’t know) expert, a few days ago, confirmed on his site that it is a hoax but everyone I’ve seen writing about it agrees that it was very well done. It’s one of those sites with boring corporate model photo clips (people just a little bit too beautiful, so that tipped me off that the site wasn’t for real) and generic consultantspeak that makes you really confused about what they can actually do for you, but the best part is where they name the specific electronic voting machine makers, like Diebold, who they supposedly work with. Great joke.