Monthly Archives: December 2014

31C3 talk: Security Analysis of Estonia’s Internet Voting System


Estonia is the only country in the world that relies on Internet voting in a significant way for legally-binding national elections — up to 30% of all voters cast their ballots online. This makes the security of Estonia’s Internet voting system of interest to technologists and citizens the world over. Over the past year, I helped lead the first rigorous, independent security evaluation of the system, based on election observation, code review, and laboratory testing. The findings are alarming: there are staggering gaps in Estonia’s procedural and operational security, and the architecture of the system leaves it open to cyberattacks from foreign powers. Our investigation confirmed the viability of these attacks in the lab, but the Estonian government has chosen to downplay them. We urgently recommend that Estonia discontinue use of the system before the country suffers a major attack.

The presentation contains good technical overview of Estonian i-voting. The presenter argues that Estonian i-voting has weak operational security. Some of the arguments used by the presenter are quite questionable:

Harri Hursti, one member of our team who is a very large Finnish man and known as a prodigious drinker, went out for serious drinking with this very nice Russian fellow, who is the head of security for the election operations team. During this dinner, I am told, each man consumed two bottles of Vodka, after witch nothing can be hidden from the truth. So, Hursti reports that by the end of this evening he had dranked that root password out of the head of security.


Sniffing real world EMV payment card protocol transaction


The objective of this report is to observe and describe a real world online transaction made between a debit card issued by an Estonian bank and a payment terminal issued by a Estonian bank. In this process we can learn how the EMV protocol works and which protocol features are used in a Chip-and-PIN card issued by an Estonian bank.

The transaction analyzed in this report was captured using a terminal from a friendly merchant in Tartu and using a Visa Electron debit card issued by SEB Estonia. The amount of transaction was 0.99 EUR. The transaction was performed in September, 2014. The full output (all requests and responses) with annotation can be found from the appendix.

The report has been published for UT course “Research Seminar in Cryptography (MTAT.07.022)”.


Summary of master’s theses: Attack-tree based risk analysis of Estonian i-voting


This report analyzes two independent works published in 2014 that model security threats of Estonian i-voting scheme using attack trees. The first one, the master’s thesis of Tanel Torn [11] constructs several realistic attack trees for various types of attacks on Estonian i-voting system and evaluates them using three different state-of-the-art methodologies proposed in attack-tree literature. The second work, the master’s thesis of Ruud Verbij [13], proposes a general framework to allow comparison of different internet voting schemes. Verbij evaluates the proposed framework by applying it on Estonian i-voting protocol.

Despite using different approaches, both Torn and Verbij agree on some of the results. First, they both consider attacks on the Central System to be much more expensive, involving more risk and thus less probable. Second, results of both authors’ analyzes show that revocation attacks are more profitable than vote modification attacks. This in mainly due to the fact that in the former case the attack does not have to go through undetected.

The report has been published for UT course “Research Seminar in Cryptography (MTAT.07.022)”.


Two criminal investigations are underway related to Bitcoin


They warned the mediator that in case anyone operates in said area without licence, this could spell violation as treated by Penal Code come under activity without licence. Following the correspondence, Fiscal Intelligence Unit issued a precept in which they demanded data to determine if the person came under Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act.

«He contested the precept and meanwhile our goal was to get him to give the data and say whether he had deals exceeding €1,000. With this we are now in court and we won at first instance,» explained Mr Paul.

Representative of mediator Priit Lätt said Fiscal Intelligence Unit had no right to require the data.


PhD thesis: “Deriving Security Requirements from Business Process Models”


Naved Ahmed PhD thesis: “Deriving Security Requirements from Business Process Models”
Defense date: 16.12.2014 – 16:15 to 17:45 (J. Liivi 2-404, Tartu, Estonia)

Thesis supervisors:
Assoc. Prof. PhD. Raimundas Matulevicius, University of Tartu
Prof. PhD. Marlon Dumas, University of Tartu

Prof. PhD. Andreas L. Opdahl, University of Bergen, Norway
Assoc. Prof. PhD. Rafael Accorsi, University of Freiburg, Germany

To consider this need, the approach taken in this thesis is to analyse the business process models from a security perspective to derive security objectives and requirements. The thesis has proposed three complementary contributions: Firstly, security risk-oriented patterns that integrate the security risk analysis into business process models. These patterns supports security risk concepts in business process models that business analyst can understand easily. Secondly, the taxonomy for assessing security in business processes. This taxonomy is used to classify the security risk-oriented patterns and helps analysts to apply these patterns in business process models. Finally, these contributions form a foundation for a method, security requirements elicitation from business processes (SREBP) that performs a systematic elicitation of security requirements for their business processes.