For the purpose of automating, hastening, and making the voting process easier and more secure, the TSE (“Tribunal Superior Eleitoral” - Superior Electoral Court, translated to English), which is the Brazilian govern department responsible for managing the electoral process in the country along with the many TREs (“Tribunal Regional Eleitoral” - Regional Electoral Court) (2), has implemented electronic voting through DRE voting machines since 1996 (3).
These machines are composed of a liquid crystal display and a keypad similar to those used on older telephones. (4) When the voters type the number of the intended candidate, his or her picture and name are shown at the display. After this, the voter presses the green confirm button to conclude the process or may press the orange revise button to retype the candidate number. It is also possible to vote in blank, by pressing the white button, or spoil the vote, by choosing an invalid number. (5)
The voting machines have no connection to the Internet, and they store the voting data in a physical media (similar to a HD or pendrive). When the voting period ends, this media is taken to a vote transmission point, where the data is sent to the TRE through a VPN (virtual private network). Areas without infrastructure for sending votes this way use satellite transmission stations instead. The TRE validates and totalizes the votes from that region, and then send these partial totals to the TSE....
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...erabilities exploited by hackers in order to create backdoors include unused or disabled services and user accounts with easy to crack passwords. (14) So, good ways for the courts to increase the security of their network would be properly deleting such services and user accounts, and also making sure that passwords being used have the right level of complexity. It would also be interesting to monitor user activity during the period of receiving, calculating, and sending information to make sure no unusual user is having access to the network during that time and no user is having an unusual behavior.
Other ways, not related to network security, include manually checking database logs and transactions before sending data to TSE, and printing the votes (this will be put in practice in Brazil on 2018 (15)), so they can be checked in an old-fashioned way later if needed.
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