Russia’s Blockchain Powered E-Voting Platform Falters on Node Attack
An election observer’s node has been exploited to attack Russia’s blockchain powered voting platform for constitutional changes. According to a report by state-owned media outlet TASS, the breach happened on June 27 at about 8PM CET.
A Moscow government representative has clarified that the breach did not result in a platform malfunction, implying that there will not be any issue in successfully recording e-votes on the blockchain.
The official had further stated that cybersecurity professionals are on top of it to reinstate access to the breached node. At the time of writing this article, no update has been issued regarding the node.
Residents of Nizhniy Novgorod and Moscow participated in the e-voting conducted between June 25 and June 30. The e-voting platform is based on Exonum blockchain created by Bitfury.
The constitutional amendment procedure, started earlier in 2020, will basically permit Russian President Vladimir Putin to continue in office for additional two terms of six years each, if endorsed, implying that he will remain as President until 2036. As per earlier reports, the website for e-voting was not accessible for the first few hours after going live.
Furthermore, the blockchain powered online voting has resulted in some unusual outcome in certain regions. For example, about 7,300 people, who were allotted the polling booth at Troitsky Administrative Okrug, were enrolled to vote online even though the voter list maintained by the booth had only 2,358 names. The domestic electoral commission clarified that it was a “technical malfunction.”
Additionally, some people have claimed to have voted multiple times as the platform is not properly synchronized with the offline voting facility. Pavel Lobkov, a local journalist, posted a video explaining how he was able to vote offline initially at polling station and then via online an hour later.
In the same manner, Yael Iliinsky, a Russian citizen living in Israel, has succeeded in voting three times: once via web, second time at the Russian consulate in Haifa and finally at the Russian embassy in Israel’s capital Tel-Aviv. She also revealed that her daughter, a minor, also voted in Haifa as her records were not verified.