German election software is vulnerable to cyber attacks

  • Roman Šulc
  • 16.9.2017 16:59

On 7 September Chaos Computer Club, a German white hat hackers association, reported security flaws in the software used to record and transmit voting tallies in many German states. The analysis of the PC-Wahl program has revealed a high number of critical vulnerabilities in the product and the way its updates are managed. The numerous security shortcomings which can allegedly be exploited even by moderately skilled hackers enable multiple scenarios of attack against electoral processes, including changing voting results at both district and country levels. Following the report, the German BSI cybersecurity agency stated they are working with the program's manufacturer to improve the software's security.

Cyber interventions in the forthcoming German federal elections on 24 September are feared due to recorded repeated attempts of cyber-espionage against federal politicians presumably conducted by Russian hackers also suspected of efforts to influence electoral preferences in the US and France. Electronic monitoring of political leaders and their social environment played a key role in the events accompanying the presidential elections in both countries.

About author: Roman Šulc


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