UG voting system hacked by journalists

Election results stand

UG voting system hacked by journalists

Voting system WebElect, which UG student used last week to vote in the university council elections, was hacked by journalists during those elections.
18 June om 18:41 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 18 June 2020
om 18:43 uur.
June 18 at 18:41 PM.
Last modified on June 18, 2020
at 18:43 PM.


Giulia Fabrizi

Door Giulia Fabrizi

18 June om 18:41 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 18 June 2020
om 18:43 uur.
Giulia Fabrizi

By Giulia Fabrizi

June 18 at 18:41 PM.
Last modified on June 18, 2020
at 18:43 PM.
Giulia Fabrizi

Giulia Fabrizi

Nieuwscoördinator
Volledig bio
News coordinator
Full bio

Nevertheless, the election results, which were announced on Monday, will stand. ‘There were no obvious abnormalities in the results’, says UG spokesperson Jorien Bakker.

Last week, student party De Vrije Student sounded the alarm in the UKrant, saying the voting system was sensitive to fraud. The link that took students to their personal voting page contained both their username and their password, which in theory allowed hackers to write a program that would enable them to find and use everyone’s accounts.

University magazine Folia with the University of Amsterdam, which also held elections last week, decided to test it out and wrote such a program. They not only gained access to 49 UvA accounts, but a further 31 UG voting accounts. They did this during election week, which means that they could have voted in students’ name. Fortunately, they didn’t.

Election results

A UG spokesperson told UKrant last week that the university was aware the system was sensitive to fraud, but that the UG wasn’t worried that it would lead to irregularities or actual voting fraud. 

According to Bakker, the UG still feels the same way. ‘We have no reason to doubt the election results that were presented on Monday; it will stand’, she writes in a response to the security leak. The WebElect results have been checked by the UG’s Central Electoral Committee. The university says this check is sufficient. 

Neither the number of cast votes nor the manner in which people voted are reason to doubt the results, the UG says. ‘We’re obviously taking it very seriously and we’ll be discussing it in our evaluation of the university council elections’, says Bakker. 

Fifteen million attempts

The program Folia used made fifteen million login attempts in twenty minutes, the university magazine says. WebElect did not realise this was happening and did nothing to intervene. 

An UvA spokesperson told Folia on Wednesday morning that the university would start an immediate investigation into the security leak. They’re asking WebElect to explain, among other things. Only after the investigation is concluded can the university say with any certainty whether there’ll be any consequences for the Amsterdam elections. 

WebElect has told Folia they’ll accelerate a planned security update.

Nederlands

advertentie