German election voting software found to be insecure

Written by Tariq. Date: 2017-9-8

Recent anaylsis by the Chaos Computer Club have found German voting software PC-Wahl 10 to have fundamental security issues. Their report highlights a host of vulnerabilities which are trivial to exploit. Exploitation could tamper with voting results at municipal polling offices and transmitted to state election authorities.

The Vulnerabilities

  • Automated software updates have no signature and are downloaded insecurely over HTTP
  • Updates are hosted on a public shared hosting provider.
  • PHP scripts on shared host allow read-write and full RCE was accomplished.
  • FTP credentials for the update site were found in a publicly available ZIP file
  • Vote results are transmitted using plain FTP or XML without signatures.

Local government Infrastructure

  • test/test were valid VPN credentials
  • FTP credentials were publicly downloadable.
  • Vote results could be decrypted due to embedded symmetric key.

Other issues

  • Home brewed encryption algorithms were used.
  • When signatures were added they were not verified.