Swiss government issue challenge to hackers all over the world to break its online voting system

The Swiss government has issued a challenge to hackers to break its newly updated online voting system. There’s a cumulative bounty of 150,000 Swiss franc (RM609,705) for anyone who succeeds in doing so.

The Swiss federal chancellery announced a dummy run election will be held from February 25 to March 24 and invites anyone who wants to display their hacking prowess to sign up at here.

The Private Intrusion Test (PIT), as it is officially called, grants hackers or anyone who would like to try, permission to attempt to infiltrate the Swiss online voting system. Should any vulnerabilities be discovered, the hackers are to submit their findings to the Swiss government for verification. The hackers can publish their findings as well.

Specifically, the test is looking find if the online voting system can be manipulated in the following ways:

  • Vote manipulation (detected or undetected)
  • Vote and voter privacy
  • Vote corruption
  • Server intrusion
  • Other potential issues

The amount of the reward paid out will depend upon the level of intrusion achieved by each hacker with the biggest single prize being 50,000 Swiss francs, for anyone who succeeds in manipulating the system’s vote count without being detected.

At time of writing, over 970 participants have signed up for the challenge with most of the participants coming from Switzerland.

The Swiss authorities hope this exercise will help assure, or perhaps improve, the security of it updated electronic voting system.

Regularly called upon to take part in referendums and votes, many Swiss electors prefer to cast their ballots over several weeks by post at polling stations and, increasingly, online.

Electronic voting has been on trial in several Swiss cantons since 2004.

Late last year the government launched an initiative to establish online voting as a third option nationwide within two years.

More information about the Swiss Private Intrusion Test and how you can sign up as a participant here.

[via Malay Mail]