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A threat analysis of Prêt à voter

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Ryan, Thea Peacock


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It is widely recognised that the security of even the best-designed technical systems can be undermined by socio-technical weaknesses that stem from implementation flaws, environmental factors that violate (often implicit) assumptions and human fallibility. This is especially true of cryptographic voting systems, which typically have a large user base and are used infrequently. In the spirit of the this observation, Karlof et al [11] have performed an analysis of the Chaum [5] and Neff [18] schemes from the "systems perspective". By stepping outside the purely technical, protocol specifications, they identify a number of potential vulnerabilities of these schemes. In this paper, we perform a similar analysis of the Prêt à Voter [6]. Firstly, we examine the extent to which the vulnerabilities identified in [11] apply to Prêt à Voter. We then describe some further vulnerabilities and threats not identified in [11]. Some of these, such as chain-voting attacks, do not apply to the Chaum or Neff schemes, but are a potential threat in Prêt à Voter, or indeed any crypto system with pre-printed ballot forms. Where appropriate, we propose enhancements and counter-measures. Our analysis shows that Prêt à Voter is remarkably robust against a large class of socio-technical vulnerabilities, including those described in [11]. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ryan P, Peacock T

Editor(s): Chaum, D., Jakobsson, M., Rivest, R.L., Ryan, P.Y.A., Benaloh, J., Kutylowski, M., Adida, B.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Towards Trustworthy Elections: New Directions in Electronic Voting

Year: 2010

Volume: 6000

Pages: 200-215

Print publication date: 01/01/2010

Series Title: Lecture Notes in Computer Science

Publisher: Springer

Place Published: Berlin; New York


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-12980-3_12

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783642129797