Node Attack against Russian E-Vote System

Judy Rubio

Voting is a special event, and we cannot ignore the importance of the very process and all the procedures this phenomenon involves. In Russia, according to many press reports, there has recently been a node attack against the blockchain-based e-vote system. The country’s authorities employ blockchain that is powered by Bitfury – the government utilizes it for the constitutional amendments. What made everyone worry was the event that no one would have ever expected. Everything happened over the weekend and shocked the crypto community outside Russia as well.

Russia’s voting system is based on blockchain. It has been intensively used for the constitutional amendments and makes the voting procedure less confusing and much more objective and honest. Attackers tried to enter the system through an election observer’s node.

TASS, the state-owned news agency, reported that the attack happened two days ago, in the evening. Official representatives got in touch with journalists and announced that the attack didn’t manage to ruin the system. There was nothing that would cause a malfunction. What it means is that the authorities can successfully record all e-votes that are now found on the blockchain.

Cybersecurity experts and official specialists did all possible to restore access to the node that the criminals had attacked. The mass media outlets do not specify how experts repaired the system. E-voting, lasting between Thursday to Tuesday for people based in the capital city and Nizhniy Novgorod runs on the platform developed by Bitfury. Reporters contacted the company and asked for more detailed information and are now waiting for an answer.

This Is Not the First Time the System Has Suffered

Constitutional amendments allow the current President to serve another two 6-year terms. It is theoretically possible and the government hopes that the population will approve this amendment. If they do, then Putin will remain in his position until 2036. Unfortunately, this sort of amendment does not reflect the real situation and is quite opposite to what the nation thinks.

Many news sources report that e-voting went live and then it was inaccessible. Which is more interesting, even though this voting is based on blockchain and seems to be safe and secure, it has managed to generate some abnormal results in several regions. In some instances, there were three times as many people ready to vote as the number of residents. The official representatives and electoral committee said that it might have been a technical issue and malfunction.

Another strange phenomenon was related to people who successfully voted multiple times simply because the e-voting system was not compatible enough with the vote’s offline part. Local journalists published videos showing how they voted offline and then did the same procedure on the Internet an hour later. This sort of issue is not new and the authorities are aware of the problem.

Russian people located abroad took part in the voting and described the same issue. Many of them managed to vote a few times and in some cases, members of the commission didn’t check their documents. Thousands of people do not believe that this is just a mere coincidence or technical issue. They suspect that the government is doing all possible to benefit from their votes, add non-existing figures to statistics and make an illusion that the nation does not mind Putin being their president for another twelve years.