During the NJ voting-machines trial, both Roger Johnston and I showed different ways of removing all the seals from voting machines and putting them back without evidence of tampering. The significance of this is that one can then install fraudulent vote-stealing software in the computer.
The State responded by switching seals yet again, right in the middle of the trial! They replaced the white vinyl adhesive-tape seal with a red tape seal that has an extremely soft and sticky adhesive. In addition, they proposed something really wacky: they would squirt superglue into the blue padlock seal and into the security screw cap.
Nothing better illustrates the State’s “band-aid approach, where serious security vulnerabilities can be covered over with ad hoc fixes” (as Roger characterizes it) than this. The superglue will interfere with the ability for election workers to (legitimately) remove the seal to maintain the machine. The superglue will make it more difficult to detect tampering, because it goes on in such a variable way that the inspector doesn’t know what’s supposed to be “normal.” And the extremely soft adhesive on the tape seal is extremely difficult to clean up, when the election worker (legitimately) removes it to maintain the machine. Of course, one must clean up all the old adhesive before resealing the voting machine.
Furthermore, Roger demonstrated for the Court that all these seals can still be defeated, with or without the superglue. Here’s the judge’s summary of his testimony about all these seals:
New Jersey is proposing to add six different kinds of seals in nine different locations to the voting machines. Johnston testified he has never witnessed this many seals applied to a system. At most, Johnston has seen three seals applied to high-level security applications such as nuclear safeguards. According to Johnston, there is recognition among security professionals that the effective use of a seal requires an extensive use protocol. Thus, it becomes impractical to have a large number of seals installed and inspected. He testified that the use of a large number of seals substantially decreases security, because attention cannot be focused for a very long time on any one of the seals, and it requires a great deal more complexity for these seal-use protocols and for training.
For more details and pictures of these seals, see “Seal Regime #4″ in this paper.