Russia’s blockchain-based voting system for the constitutional amendments has reportedly been attacked via an election observer’s node.
As reported by state-owned news agency TASS, the attack occurred on June 27 around 8 PM CET. A government of Moscow representative told TASS that the attack did not cause a system malfunction, meaning that all e-votes will be successfully recorded on the blockchain.
According to the official, cybersecurity experts were working to restore access to the attacked node. It is not clear if it’s been repaired at this point.
E-voting, held from June 25 to June 30 for residents of Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod, is based on the Exonum blockchain platform developed by Bitfury.
Initiated earlier this year, the constitutional amendments will theoretically allow Vladimir Putin to serve two more six-year terms if approved, meaning that he may remain president until 2036.
The system has experienced hiccups before
According to previous reports, the website for e-voting was inaccessible during the first few hours after going live.
Moreover, the blockchain-based online voting has produced some abnormal results in certain regions. For instance, nearly 7,300 people assigned to a polling station in Troitsky Administrative Okrug were registered to vote online, despite the station only having a total of 2,358 residents eligible to vote. The local electoral commission claimed that this was a “technical malfunction.”
Further, some people have reported successfully managing to vote multiple times due to the system’s apparently poor compatibility with the vote’s offline part.
Local journalist Pavel Lobkov posted a video describing how he initially voted offline at his polling station, and then voted online an hour later.
Similarly, Yael Iliinsky, a Russian national based in Israel, reportedly managed to vote three tunes: online via the website, at the Russian embassy in Tel-Aviv, and at the Russian consulate in Haifa. She also claimed that her daughter, who is still a minor, also voted in Haifa because her documents weren’t checked.