Organisation : Chief Electoral Officer Chhattisgarh
Announcement : CEO Chhattisgarh FAQs On Security Features Of The ECI-EVMs
Applicable State/UT : Chhattisgarh India
Website : https://ceochhattisgarh.nic.in
FAQs On Security Features Of The ECI-EVMs
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs On Security Features Of The ECI-EVMs
** In the recent past, there have been some queries in the minds of common people about the security features of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) of Election Commission of India (ECI). The Election Commission has, time and again, stated that ECI-EVMs and its systems are robust, secure and tamper-proof.
** The following FAQs give a detailed view of security features including latest technological features of EVMs and stringent administrative measures taken at every step of its usage from manufacturing to storage.
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1.What is meant by Tampering of EVM?
Tampering means alteration in the software program written either on existing microchips of Control Unit (CU) or introducing malicious software program by inserting new microchips in CU and also making keys – pressed in Ballot Unit (BU) not record faithfully in the Control Unit.
2. Are the ECI- EVMs hackable?
** No. M1 (model one) of EVM machines were manufactured till 2006 and had all necessary technical features making M1 non-hackable contrary to claims made by some activists.
** On the recommendations of the Technical Evaluation Committee in 2006, M2 model of EVMs produced after 2006 and upto 2012 incorporated dynamic coding of key codes thereby enabling transfer of the key – press message from Ballot Unit (BUs) to Control Unit (CUs), in an encrypted form as an additional security feature. It also contains Real time setting of each key press so that sequencing of key presses including so called malicious sequenced key presses can be detected and wrapped.
** Further, the ECI- EVMs are not computer controlled, are stand alone machines and not connected to the internet and /or any other network at any point of time. Hence, there is no chance of hacking by remote devices.
** The ECI-EVMs do not have any frequency receiver or decoder for data for wireless or any external hardware port for connection to any other non-EVM accessory or device. Hence no tampering is possible either through hardware port or through Wireless, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth device because CU accepts only encrypted and dynamically coded data from BU. No other kind of data can be accepted by CU.
3.Can ECI-EVMs be manipulated by Manufacturers?
** Not Possible. There is very stringent security protocol at manufacturer level regarding security of software. The Machines have been manufactured in different years starting from 2006.
** After manufacturing, EVMs are sent to State and district to district within a State. The manufacturers are in no position to know several years ahead which candidate will be contesting from a particular constituency and what will be the sequence of the candidates on the BU.
** Also, each ECI-EVM has a serial number and the Election Commission by use of EVM –tracking software can find out from its database which machine is located where. So, any manipulation at manufacturing stage is ruled out.
4.Can Trojan Horse be incorporated into the chip in CU?
** Sequence of voting in EVM eliminates the possibility of injection of Trojan Horse as mentioned below. The stringent security measures by ECI make it impossible to introduce Trojan Horse in the field.
** Once a ballot key is pressed in CU, the CU enables BU for registering the vote and waits for the key pressing in the BU. During this period, all keys in the CU become Inactive till the entire sequence of casting of that vote is complete. Once any of the keys (candidates vote button) is pressed by a voter in BU, the BU transmits the key information to CU. The CU gets the data and acknowledges it by glowing the corresponding LED lamps in BU.
** After the enabling of ballot in CU, only the ‘first key press’is sensed and accepted by CU. After this, even if a voter keeps on pressing the other buttons that is of no use as there will not be any communication between CU and BU as the result of those subsequent key presses, nor will BU register any key press.To put it in other words, there can be only one valid key press (the first key press) for every ballot enabled using CU.
** Once a valid key press (voting process) is complete, until another ballot enabling key press is made there will not be any activity between the CU and the BU. Hence, sending of any malicious signal, by way of so called ‘sequenced key presses’, is impossible in the Electronic Voting Machines being used in the country.
5.Are Old model ECI- EVMs still in use?
** M1 model of EVM machines were produced up to 2006 and were last used in 2014 General Elections. In 2014, EVM machines which completed 15 years of economic life and also because M1 were not compatible with VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) , ECI decided to discontinue use of all M1 EVMs manufactured upto 2006.
** There is a Standard Operating Procedure laid down by ECI to discard EVMs. The process of destruction of EVM & its chip is carried out in the presence of Chief Electoral Officer of the state or his representatives inside the factory of manufacturers.