The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced that starting next year members will be able to vote for the Oscars using electronic ballots instead of the existing vote-by-mail system. However, many computer scientists believe the system will be vulnerable to attacks that could compromise the votes.
"Everybody would like there to be secure Internet voting, but some very smart people have looked at the problem and can't figure out how to do it," says Stanford University professor David Dill.
Researchers have listed multiple potential vulnerabilities to online voting systems, such as denial-of-service attacks, malware, and penetration of the server's security wall.
The Academy is not the first organization to experiment with Internet voting, and several U.S. states have already adopted electronic-voting systems to help military personnel and other U.S. citizens living overseas submit their votes. However, serious problems have been exposed, such as a local election in Washington, D.C., in October 2010, during which University of Michigan researchers took control of the server software and were able to find out which citizens voted for specific candidates and even changed some votes.
From Guardian (United Kingdom)
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