Databases Affect Many Aspects of our Lives {2}

by Brian B
The article I picked this week is titled “Ohio Audit Says Diebold Vote Database May Have Been Corrupted” by Kim Zetter. The article is talking about a company called Diebold who makes the electronic voting machines for the State of Ohio. It focuses on the November 2006 election in Ohio because there are questions to whether the database that these machines used was corrupted. The report cited by this article states that there were “Vote totals in two separate databases that should have been identical had different totals.  (Zetter, 2007)” The company essentially responded by saying that the system was working as intended. It was also found that “Tables in the database contained elements that were missing date and time stamps that would indicate when information was entered. Entries that did have date/time stamps showed a January 1, 1970 date.  (Zetter, 2007)” The article goes on to say that the database software that was being used was built by Microsoft’s Jet Database engine. It states that “The engine, according to Microsoft, is vulnerable to corruption when a lot of concurrent activity is happening with the database, such as what occurs on an election night. (Zetter, 2007)” The system was reported to be experiencing many problems during election night. It would reboot, crash, some ballots were not scanned, and some ballots were counted twice. Because of this several workers were convicted of tampering with election results. read more...