Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Campaigning for the 2012 presidential race has already begun, but what the candidates don't know is that come election day, hackers could be the ones whose votes have the biggest impact.
Researchers from the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have developed a hack that, for about $26 and an 8th-grade science education, can remotely manipulate the electronic voting machines used by millions of voters all across the U.S.
The researchers, Salon reported, performed their proof-of-concept hack on a Diebold Accuvote TS electronic voting machine, a type of touchscreen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system that is widely used for government elections.
(Diebold's voting-machine business is now owned by the Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, whose e-voting machines are used in about 22 states.)
In a video, Roger Johnston and Jon Warner from Argonne National Laboratory's Vulnerability Assessment Team demonstrate three different ways an attacker could tamper with, and remotely take full control, of the e-voting machine simply by attaching what they call a piece of "alien electronics" into the machine's circuit board.
The electronic hacking tool consists of a $1.29 microprocessor and a circuit board that costs about $8. Together with the $15 remote control, which enabled the researchers to modify votes from up to a half-mile away, the whole hack runs about $26.
Two of the takeovers show the researchers controlling the buttons on the keypad despite what the "real" voter enters. But in what Warner called "probably the most relevant attack for vote tampering," the researchers were able to blank the e-voting machine's screen for a split-second after the "vote now" button was pressed. While the screen went dark, they remotely entered their own numbers into the DRE's keypad.
Johnston explained in the video: "When the voter hits the 'vote now' button to register his votes, we can blank the screen and then go back and vote differently and the voter will be unaware that this has happened."
Johnston and Warner say that the ease with which this type of remote hack could be deployed highlights the need for e-voting machines to be designed better, with not just cybersecurity, but physical security in mind.
"Spend an extra four bucks and get a better lock," Johnston said. "You don't have to have state-of-the-art security, but you can do some things were it takes at least a little bit of skill to get in."
Management books have it all wrong. They all try to tell you how to manage "people."
It's impossible to manage "people"; it's only possible to manage individuals. And because individuals differ from one another, what works with one individual may not work with somebody else.
Some individuals thrive on public praise; others feel uncomfortable when singled out.
Some individuals are all about the money; others thrive on challenging assignments.
Some individuals need mentoring; others find advice to be grating.
The trick is to manage individuals the way that THEY want to be managed, rather than the way that YOU'd prefer to be managed.
The only way to do this is to ASK.
In your first (or next) meeting with each direct report ask:
- How do you prefer to be managed?
- What can I do to help you excel?
- What types of management annoy you?
Listen (really listen) to the response and then, as far as you are able, adapt your coaching, motivation, compensation, and so forth to match that individual's needs.
BTW, a savvy employee won't wait for you to ask; he or she will tell you outright what works. When this happens, you're crazy not to take that employee's advice!
Unfortunately, most individuals aren't that bold, which is why it's up to you to find out how to get the best out of them.
And you'll never get that out of a management book.
There is no one-size-fits-all in a world where everyone is unique.
Source: Equity Master
Britain is smack in the middle of the longest double-dip recession since World War II. Official records show that the country ran up its largest current account deficit on record in the second quarter of 2012. The deficit was a whopping GBP 20.8 bn. This includes UK's trade balance and a shortfall on overseas investments. The country's citizens are facing tough times. Household spending was down 0.2% over the quarter. The largest declines were in restaurants and hotels, tobacco, and food and drink, as families cut back. However, one positive was that business investment rose 0.9% over the quarter. Overall, the economy contracted by 0.4% during the quarter, slightly less than the previous 0.5% estimate. The economy is still stagnating, and generating employment is the only way to lift economic sentiment. But this is much easier said than done.