Suspicion of postal voting fraud in some municipalities has marked the past 28M municipal and regional elections. Apart from these cases, there have been a few incidents at the Census and e-HQ, and worse: some cyber security firms have warned of an increase in the number of malicious websites related to political parties and the election process.
How far can hackers interfere in elections? Can anything be done to prevent misinformation and cyber fraud? Is there a future for electronic voting? Most of the information and news related to the election campaign is available in the online media, and some administrative procedures such as requesting a postal vote or consulting an election census can be carried out over the Internet. Mario Yanez, The technologist warns Cob lamp Risks: “Now they meet every two months Three votes for municipal, regional and general elections, unfortunately this concentration is an invitation to cybercriminals, Expect a barrage of fake news, misinformation and phishing campaigns.
What are the biggest issues identified in 28M and what can we expect in the July 23 general election? Checkpoint, a global provider of cyber security solutions, has warned Cyber attacks in the political sector have increased by 38%. And specifically, in attacks by email with malware or phishing files, the expert points out that “the data is amazing: the rate of attacks by email A record 86% of all attacks have grown. The same thing happens with spam or junk mail: almost 9 out of 10 emails we receive are invalid. or phishing attempts. The result is that in the world, Every 11 seconds a company receives such an attack”.
How do hackers work in these election processes?
These election periods are a A perfect scenario for cybercriminals and for digital functionality. Mario Yanez explains step by step how cybercriminals operate: “Basically with hacktivism campaigns: Creation of fraudulent websites of political parties and public administrations and publication of fake news”.
In addition to misinformation, there is also the risk of our data being stolen or our devices being hijacked. Although the greatest damage can be done with the erosion of the stability of states and their institutions, “ultimately An opportunity for hackers To take advantage of digital practices that citizens can do To impersonate admins and steal our data And at worst, Let’s change our votes It will be very intense,” he points out.
Electronic voting and its reliability
Regarding the security of electronic voting, the technical expert speaks clearly: “No computer system is 100% immune to attacks or technical or human failures. In the long run, the advantages of electronic voting will outweigh the disadvantages, but you need to think carefully about how to implement it to get adequate guarantees. These guarantees “using technologies such as digital certificates, blockchain, can improve the electoral process: more participation, easier voting for residents abroad, greater efficiency in numbers, control of data output and process and a significant economic saving and people’s time.”
But for that Electoral Act should be changed: “It will be necessary Electronic voting is equivalent to paper voting. Additionally, there are other factors that are difficult to resolve. Investment will be good.Both digital and paper models and most importantly, reputational risk need to be integrated. The cost of an error in an electronic system can be prohibitive. “The state cannot risk the eventual delegitimization of democracy, compromising trust in the vital process that sustains democracy,” warns Mario Yance.
Regardless of the political and technical challenges, are we ready to adopt electronic voting system? “Cyber risks are beyond present and increasing We have to ask ourselves if taking this step will be another factor of social exclusion. It is already difficult to use digital certificates or electronic offices for negotiations with administrations, as well as adding democracy to digital capabilities. I don’t think this is possible in the short term, but in my opinion we should move towards this situation. It’s the future, but now it’s going to be a problem.”