It is fitting on the fifth anniversary of the death of Bill Moss, lead plaintiff in the legendary Moss v. Bush 2004 lawsuit in Ohio, that the Associated Press is admitting the easy hackability of Diebold machines.

“A hacker has discovered a way to force ATMs to disgorge their cash by hijacking the computers inside them,” reads the AP lead.

The AP goes on to warn that, “The attacks demonstrated last week targeted stand-alone ATMs. But they could potentially could be used against the ATMs operated by mainstream banks.”

What the Associated Press and corporate for-profit media fail to report is that Diebold, one of the world’s leading ATM hardware and sofware providers, also manufactures electronic voting machines with similar problems.

The similarities between hacking a Diebold ATM and a Diebold/Premier election machine are startling. For example, the hacker, Barnaby Jack, Director of Security Testing for Seattle based IOActive, Inc., stated “Every ATM I’ve looked at, I’ve been able to find a flaw in. It’s a scary thing.”

It’s even scarier that all major studies of electronic voting machines have found the same flaws.

The AP tells us that “Jack found that the physical keys that came with his machines were the same for all ATMs of that type made by that manufacturer.” This has long been reported by election protection activists concerning voting machines.

Jack found that you could hack the ATM machines over the internet. The same accusations were made of voting machines in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio is 2004 after election results fell significantly outside the exit poll margins of error.

This is coupled with recent revelations by Diebold that their machines were physically attacked and illegal software was installed on them in Russia. Here’s the quote from Diebold’s website:

“Criminals broke into a number of ATMs in Russia and installed illegal software. This crime required an aggressive, physical break-in with high-tech expertise once the inside of the ATM was accessed.”

The assurance from Diebold as to the reliability of their ATMs and, by inference, Premier voting machines, amounts to a confession of vulnerability: “It is important to stress that Diebold ATMs with properly configured operating systems, firewalls, passwords and other physical and logical security measures are not at risk for most software exploits.”

Note the key operative word here for Diebold ATMs and voting machines is that “most” hacking attempts will not be successful, but what about the others?

All evidence suggests that some have hacked into election results in Florida in 2000, Georgia in 2002, Ohio in 2004, and in other elections worldwide.

The use of mainstream computers to hack elections was pioneered by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. “Our man Marcos” in the Philippines desperately manipulated mainframe computers to rig his re-election, which failed because of the Corzaon Aquino and the people power movement who refused to accept the illegally programmed results.

Why is it, on this anniversary of Bill Moss’ passing, that we can readily accept people are hacking into ATM machines, but ignore the fact that people are also hacking Diebold, ES&S and other electronic voting machines and stealing more than money. They are stealing our democratic legacy.

Here in Ohio for the 2010 election, 54 out of 88 counties used DRE machines (electronic voting machines) with 34 others using computerized optical scanning voting machines which are also easily hackable.

Also, highly partisan Republican-connected election machine service companies with a long history of activism in the Right to Life movement, now maintain virtually all of the computerized electronic voting machines outside the major cities in Ohio. According to data from the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, Triad is now servicing electronic and computerized voting machines in 50 counties, up from 48 in 2008 and significantly grew from the 44 they serviced in 2004.

Recall that allegations were made before Congress that Tried often arrived unannounced prior to the Ohio recount in 2004, inserted patches and reprogrammed computers.

If we were to honor the memory of Bill Moss, we would take a stand for democracy and demand that private, for-profit vendors with their secret proprietary software codes would be forever banned from U.S. elections.

America has the know-how and technology to make sure nobody hacks our elections. Like other democracies in the world that have figured it out, it is called “paper and pen.” Fully transparent, hand-counted paper ballots.

Bob Fitrakis was an attorney in the Moss v. Bush case.