Security implications of in-band signalling strikes again, 43 years after the “Blue Box” hit the mainstream. Jamie McCarthy on Twitter: “.@cmdrtaco – Remember when we had to block the U+202E code point in Slashdot comments to stop siht ekil stnemmoc? https://t.co/TcHxKkx9Oo” See also http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/09/right-to-left-override-aids-email-attacks/ — GMail was vulnerable too; and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode_control_characters for more inline control chars. http://unicode.org/reports/tr36/#Bidirectional_Text_Spoofing has some official recommendations from the Unicode consortium on dealing with bidi override chars.
The AVS WinVote system — mind-bogglingly shitty security.
If an election was held using the AVS WinVote, and it wasn’t hacked, it was only because no one tried. The vulnerabilities were so severe, and so trivial to exploit, that anyone with even a modicum of training could have succeeded. They didn’t need to be in the polling place—within a few hundred feet (e.g., in the parking lot) is easy, and within a half mile with a rudimentary antenna built using a Pringles can. Further, there are no logs or other records that would indicate if such a thing ever happened, so if an election was hacked any time in the past, we will never know. I’ve been in the security field for 30 years, and it takes a lot to surprise me. But the VITA report really shocked me—as bad as I thought the problems were likely to be, VITA’s five-page report showed that they were far worse. And the WinVote system was so fragile that it hardly took any effort. While the report does not state how much effort went into the investigation, my estimation based on the description is that it was less than a person week.