Allegations of MitM Hack of 2004 Presidential Ohio Election

Thursday, July 28, 2011

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According to an article published by Truth-Out, a new court filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell lawsuit that centers around a sudden and unexpected shift in the vote count in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election may have been due to deliberate manipulation by way of a "Man in the Middle" type exploit.

The filing also is reported to include a deposition by the late Michael Connell, the former Bush campaign IT specialist and executive at the IT firm GovTech which designed the systems that transferred the Ohio vote count on election night to another contractor, SmarTech.

It is alleged that the vote count manipulation may have occurred during this transfer process, according to the report. Suspicions of fraud surfaced immediately after the election because of discrepancies with the anticipated results based on voter exit polling.

Both GovTech and SmarTech are alleged to have extensive ties to Republican partisans and interests.

The court filing is also reported to include a contract between GovTech Solutions and Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell which disclosed detailed information about the Ohio Secretary of State's election network systems.

IT security expert Stephen Spoonamore, who has looked into the allegations, had previously claimed in a sworn affidavit that "the SmarTech system was set up precisely as a King Pin computer used in criminal acts against banking or credit card processes and had the needed level of access to both county tabulators and Secretary of State computers to allow whoever was running SmarTech computers to decide the output of the county tabulators under its control."

Spoonmore also claimed that "...the architecture further confirms how this election was stolen. The computer system and SmarTech had the correct placement, connectivity, and computer experts necessary to change the election in any manner desired by the controllers of the SmarTech computers."

In an email exchange published by FreePress.org, Cliff Arnebeck - the lead attorney in the case - queried Spoonamore about the processes alleged to have been used to manipulate the vote count:

Arnebeck: In order for SmarTech to function as the primary server during times when the Secretary of State's servers failed, did it not have to have the capability to input data?

Spoonamore:
Yes. They would have had data input capacities. The system might have been set up to log which source generated the data, but probably did not.

Arnebeck:
Is there any reason to believe that SmarTech did not have the ability to obtain and use data, as well as input data into the systems without the security protocols that might normally be required as part of the Secretary of State's original Oracle database system?

Spoonamore:
Nope. They had full access and could change things when and if they wants.

Arnebeck:
Could this be done using whatever bypass techniques Connell developed for the Web Hosting function?

Spoonamore:
Yes.

Arnebeck:
Is there any reason to believe that SmarTech was not just a man in the middle of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, but also the man in control, by virtue of its ability to control the input and output of data in the system without the kind of security measures one would normally have to prevent unauthorized access system, particularly by partisans in the election process that is being administered?

Spoonamore:
SmarTech was a man in the middle. In my opinion they were not designed as a mirror, they were designed specifically to be a man in the middle. Those two

Arnebeck:
By virtue of his contracts with committees of Congress Connell's GovTech had credentials for trustworthiness in performing sensitive and confidential governmental work. However, SmarTech did not have those credentials -- it was a partisan organization. Connell was emphatic in his assertion that it was Ken Blackwell who brought SmarTech into the picture and into the GovTech contract as a subcontractor.

Spoonamore:
I believe that. Blackwell freaked and refused to speak to me when I confronted him about it long before I met you, back the Sec. of State's IT Conference in Boston. I was there giving a seminar in data security for Sec. of States and State CIOs I took this as Connell's way of saying that, if there was a problem of partisan being in control of government data related to an election in which that partisan was involved, the responsibility for that problem was Blackwell's, not his. I agree.

More details and referenced materials are available in the Truth-Out article here:

Source:  http://www.truth-out.org/new-court-filing-reveals-how-2004-ohio-presidential-election-was-hacked/1311603015

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