Argonne National Laboratory Nuclear Engineering Division

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Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT)

Election Security

Network: Linkedin Roger Johnston on LinkedIn

The Vulnerability Assessment Team has demonstrated easy to execute, non-cyber attacks on two different kinds of electronic voting machines.

We believe that too often election officials assume (incorrectly) that: the bad guys have to attack the computer/microprocessor or cyber parts of the machine--which requires real smart people; that “certification” of machines is some kind of silver bullet against vote tampering; that adhesive label seals are good at detecting tampering and that they will be blatantly ripped open by an attacker and that they require almost no training to use; that you should get your security advice from manufacturers of voting machines, locks, and seals; that piling on lots of security features leads to good security; that “security by obscurity” (keeping secrets) is how you get good security; that a chain of custody is a piece of paper on which people scribble their initials or signatures; that hundreds of voting machines have to be compromised for the bad guys to succeed; that vote tamperers are only interested in getting their candidate to win the election; and that physical and cyber security are easy.

Suggestions for better election security, 647KB | Last Updated: Sep. 05, 2012

Related Multimedia

Video #1: Potential Attacks on the Diebold TS Electronic Voting Machine — (Simple non-cyber, man-in-the-middle attacks.) by Argonne National Laboratory

Available versions of this video:

This video is available in Flash Video Flash format, Quicktime video Quicktime format, or Windows Media video Windows Media format

Video in Flash format Flash Video


Video #2: Remote Vote Tampering Attack on a Sequoia AVC Voting Machine by Argonne National Lab

Related Documents

For more information, see:

In the Press

How your vote can be hacked
: Argonne's Roger Johnston and Jon Warner on CNN Money


Last Modified: Tue, October 1, 2013 12:04 PM



VAT Papers

For a selection of VAT papers available upon request, see Publications.

For copies of the VAT papers and presentations on a wide variety of physical security issues (tags, seals, product counterfeiting, vulnerability assessments, RFIDs, GPS, nuclear safeguards), contact Roger Johnston at

Inquiries about the Journal of Physical Security should be addressed to:

Recently added to
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Physical Security Maxims

Devil’s Dictionary of Security Terms

For more information:

Vulnerability Assessment Section
Sect. Manager: Roger G. Johnston, Ph.D., CPP
Fax: +1 630-252-7323

Argonne Experts Argonne Experts: Roger Johnston
Roger Johnston on LinkedIn


Vulnerability Assessments Section
Jon Warner
Fax: +1 630-252-7323


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