Electronic voting 'open to abuse'

Tuesday, 3 June 2003, 4:17 PM EST

The results of a new electronic voting system, set to be used in all future elections, could be altered by rogue hackers, two prominent computer scientists have warned. Computer scientists Margaret McGaley and J Paul Gibson, from NUI Maynooth, have prepared a report claiming the new system is potentially open to abuse and attack.

The report also claims that the new hi-tech system lacks the necessary safeguards to ensure nothing has been tampered with, among other numerous security concerns.

"It is easy to conceive of a scenario where a hostile person or group has acquired a key and creates a diversion, so that they can gain access to the machine for five minutes," the report reads.

One of the central concerns centres around the key for the voting system. The key is supposed to give polling staff access to sensitive features on the machine, but is easily copied, the researchers found.

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