Swiss and Aussies find a critical flaw in Scytl software that the US ignores
SAN DIEGO: How is it the Swiss and Aussies were better positioned to handle voting than the U.S.? They vetted Scytl online voting software and discovered alarming features. Due diligence proved Scytl software not secure, not verifiable end to end. They must have known a bad electronic voting system could put the wrong candidate in office. They cared enough to prevent that from happening in their countries.
SwissPost intended to roll out an online voting system to “boost participation” and “deliver faster results than postal counts. Australia thought it could be more convenient, too. So, they contacted respected academics to dive into the software code.
Vanessa Teague, (professor at the University of Melbourne at the time) is known for her work on secret sharing, cryptographic protocols, and the security of electronic voting. Teague teamed up to evaluate Scytl with an international group of researchers.
They published a report on March 12, 2019, called “The use of trapdoor commitments in Bayer-Groth proofs and the implications for the verifiability of the Scytl-SwissPost Internet voting system∗”
The researchers probed the “shuffling and decryption components of Switzerland’s online voting system.” Their tact relevant to New South Wales’ iVote online system because both were developed by Scytl, a company headquartered in Barcelona [and Frankfurt] that specializes in secure electronic voting,” says InnovationAus.
Aussies, Swiss found back door to future election disaster.
Online or mail-in voting may seem like a solution to a world trying to survive a raging COVID-19 pandemic. But without thorough vetting – it’s like giving criminal minds a gun AND the ammunition. When you send an electronic vote it’s floating through nebulous, unquantified cyberspace. It may solve getting to the polls in a physical sense and getting votes counted quickly. But it doesn’t change the challenges of control of information.
On Mar 12, 2019, MIT published a technology review on the Scytl research, “A cryptographic trap door could let someone change votes cast using Switzerland’s online sVote system without being detected, according to a new paper.”
Vice News reported same day,
“The cryptographic backdoor exists in a part of the system that is supposed to verify that all of the ballots and votes counted in an election are the same ones that voters cast. But the flaw could allow someone to swap out all of the legitimate ballots and replace them with fraudulent ones, all without detection,” says Vice.
“The vulnerability is astonishing,” said Matthew Green, who teaches cryptography at Johns Hopkins University and did not do the research but read the researchers’ report. “In normal elections, there is no single person who could undetectably defraud the entire election. But in this system they built, there is a party who could do that,” adds Vice.
John Hopkins, MIT, two highly-ranked U.S. universities, warned of severe problems with Scytl-Swiss software system. Are academic opinions of naught? Which leads to why not? It appears that massive numbers of U.S. votes sailed in a leaky Scytl cyber craft from the U.S. across the seas to Germany and came back CHANGED.
What did the SwissPost/Aussie researchers find?
As best understood by this writer, the researchers said they couldn’t state one way or the other if Scytl was less than expert at what they do or if they purposely created exploitable flaws. They are clear that the software is flawed and can be hacked. They state that it would be a good cover to write immature code which attempts to follow a published encryption method and that their flawed implementation could more easily be forgiven for doing so.
Or was the revealed flaw a feature for nefarious use?
The academic research asserts that Scytl followed the Bayer – Groth encryption method. Although they generally followed the algorithm, they say Scytl failed to protect key pieces of data. They also said the data can be hacked, changing votes without a trace.
You would need to be expert in the algorithm to understand the specific critiques in the paper.
Election stealing issue in Scytl-SwissPost Internet voting system.
“Verifiability is a critical part of the trustworthiness of e-voting systems. Universal verifiability means that a proof of proper election conduct should be verifiable by any member of the public,” says the report.
“This mixnet has a trapdoor – a malicious administrator or software provider for the mix could manipulate votes but produce a proof transcript that passes verification. Thus complete verifiability fails,” concludes the researchers.
Sarah Jamie Lewis (former computer scientist for British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intelligence agency) was a critical member of the team. She says, “No election system should have a backdoor that allows the people running the election the ability to undetectably modify the election outcome…
“We have only examined a tiny fraction of this code base and found a critical, election-stealing issue,” says Lewis.
Where was U.S. security, oversight for the 2020 Election?
“SwissPost, Switzerland’s national postal service, published its shuffling and decryption code six months before it intended to use it for an election so that researchers like Professor Teague and colleague Lewis could vet the system for flaws,” says InnovationAus. Olivier Pereira was also on the research team.
Findings led researchers to recommend the Swiss government immediately halt plans to implement the system more widely. But it was bigger than Switzerland. Scytl provides electronic voting services to 35 countries, (including the U.S.)
Scytl said it was working on the Swiss [evote] flaw. That it managed to creep into the system in the first place worried MIT reviewers. The outcome is unknown. Scytl’s statement on Swiss online major flaw.
We now know Scytl software cycled millions of U.S. votes. Lawyers work relentlessly to find out how many were modified in the 2020 election.
Hackers could kick back and say ‘who do you want to win’?
Russ Ramsland, Co-owner Allied Security Operations Group, was interviewed days leading up to the election. Excerpts about his findings:
“There are no [U.S.] national security standards that a voting company needs to meet. The software is so bad, you can easily change the audit trail, so later you cannot forensically go back and find out the votes that were changed,” says Ramsland.
“What happens to your vote after whatever the local voting company does to it? It turns out in the case of Texas and 27 other states – it goes to a [Scytl] server in Frankfurt Germany, owned by Barcelona Spain Multinational and that’s actually who controls and reports your vote,” he clarified.
So your vote in Texas or anywhere in 28 states (including battleground) connects you to some foreign power. Were voters informed of this chicanery or allowed consent to this? Of course not, the perpetrators thought it would remain hidden.
Ramsland said they could see malware collecting credentials of county workers who submit voting information up, allowing a bad actor to go back into the county and change votes not just in Frankfurt, but the U.S. too.
“We began to look and realized how easy it is to change votes.”
Election security expert @RussRamsland has performed many investigations on US election machines.
The most *shocking* thing about this interview is it took place just days BEFORE the election. Watch🔻 pic.twitter.com/53Kcxmne2e
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) November 14, 2020
The 2020 election failed to inform or protect voters.
Our understanding of reality is changed each day by Trump’s lawyers and legal helpers, headed up by tireless Sidney Powell. They will certainly prove in court Scytl software a very bad risk, like the Swiss and Aussies. They will dig deep to find those bad actors. Hats off to all who took the hard steps to report election fraud. Keep stepping.
If voters knew on November 3rd what we now know, there would have been no election.
Americans’ trust in electronic voting systems has been blown to smithereens. This scheme to wipe out Trump’s legitimate votes is massive, complex, and unAmerican. Truth, the most powerful force, lies with the president and his allies searching for the monsters defiling the 2020 election. Yet alas, “The Kraken,” is here to fight.
Breaking news: Huge win for Trump in Michigan.
#Breaking: Too much wrong in Wayne County MI to certify results. Same will be true for any state that really examines machines, software & results.@realDonaldTrump@Scavino45@LouDobbs@MariaBartiromo@marklevinshow@TheLastRefuge2https://t.co/2DjWUvX9Iw
— Sidney Powell 🇺🇸⭐⭐⭐ (@SidneyPowell1) November 18, 2020
Sydney Powell’s report on Foreign Interference in election here
Featured Image: Composite Artwork Dave McKinney United States in North America Map TUBS https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_in_North_America_(-mini_map_-rivers).svg Flag Map of Germany David Liuzzo and AxG https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_map_of_Germany.svg Curved Arrow Amada44 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Curved_Arrow.svg Germany in Europe TUBS https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Germany_in_Europe.svg I Voted Sticker Dwight Burdette https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:I_Voted_Sticker.JPG Math Formulas Sarah Jamie Lewis, Olivier Pereira, and Vanessa Teague https://people.eng.unimelb.edu.au/vjteague/UniversalVerifiabilitySwissPost.pdf