News Column

Manual counting possible after cyber-attack on Ukraine poll system

May 26, 2014

Ukrainian election commission workers prepare the poling station for the presidential election in Kiev, May 24, 2014.

Ukraine'sSecurity Service has removed a virus at the Central Election Commission's server, while the cyber-attack may force a 'manual vote count.'

"The virus has been eliminated, software is replaced. So, we now have the confidence that the Central Election Commission's server is safe," Valentin Nalivaychenko, head of Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), is cited by UNN news agency on Saturday.

He is cited as saying that the virus was meant to destroy the results of presidential election on May 25.

However the Commission programmers may not be able to fix the system in time for the elections, acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced on his website.

"On May 22 unknown intruders destroyed the 'Elections' information-analytical system of the Central Elections Commission, including those of the regional election commissions."

"Criminal negligence of some of the CEC officials led to a very late reporting of this issue to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Security Service," Avakov wrote. As a result, "programmers so far failed to fix the CEC equipment," the minister said announcing that fixing the problem in time for the vote count is "impossible."

Avakov assured this is not a "catastrophe" and said that counting may be done manually, claiming this way Ukraine will have "more reliable results."

At the same time, Nalivaychenko did not mention any intruders but claimed the harmful program was "illegally" installed on the server under the previous government of President Viktor Yanukovich, who was overthrown via a social unrest in February.

On Friday, UNN reported about a hacker attack, which made the Central Election Commission's website inoperable for several hours.

The agency's "informed source" claimed the perpetrators tried to steal data from the Commission's sever and thereby disrupt the Sunday's election.

Twenty-one candidates take part in the early presidential election in Ukraine on May 25. According to opinion polls, oligarch Petr Poroshenko enters the vote as favorite on 28 per cent, followed by ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko on 9.5 per cent.


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Source: ALALAM (Iran)

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