Election advertising in Amsterdam, February 24, 2017

Netherlands fear the intervention of Russian hackers in the March elections to the parliament, which is why decided to completely abandon the computer processing of votes. Results will be counted in the manual mode to avoid potential fraud.

The Dutch government in the fight against “Russian hackers’ decided to completely abandon the use of computers in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

According to Politico, , March 15 almost 13 million Dutch people go to 9 thousand. Polling stations, after which all the votes will be counted by hand with a pencil to mark on the ballot liked candidate.

There is no information how long it will take.

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The decision to abandon the computer for fear of cyber attacks was made after the charges against Russia of rigging the results of the US presidential election in 2016. This year, France and Germany are also expected elections, and there have already been made alarming statements about the probability of hacker break-ins. Measures to protect the Netherlands voting against hackers are the most dramatic.

Tension grows

The Dutch authorities are afraid of interference by Russia in light of the tense relations between the two countries. In 2016 the Netherlands was suspected of domestic military involvement in the crash Malaysian Boeing 777 in the sky over the Donbas. According to preliminary data of the international investigation, the plane was shot down, “Buk” systems missile. The tragedy killed 298 people, most of them – the Dutch.

In addition, some officials believe that the Kremlin had a hand in the results of last year’s referendum on the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. Then the majority of the citizens voted the Netherlands – 61.1% – have spoken out against the agreement.

“The reliability of the results of elections should not be a shadow of doubt, especially in the current political situation”, – said in February the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Netherlands Ronald Plasterk.

“At the moment we can not trust the electronic voting system in the course” – insists the official.

France, which will hold a presidential election in the spring of 2017, is also concerned about the potential threat posed by Russian hackers. And in France, and the Netherlands have candidates who are considered to be pro-Russian – Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, respectively. Recent European press dubbed “the Dutch Trump.”

Netherlands authorities believe that under the threat of cyber attacks may be not only the election results. It is reported that computers and electronic boxes of Dutch politicians may also be compromised, resulting in feykovye news and unreliable information can seep into social networks and Internet blogs.

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Hackers made the attack on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, cracking one of the servers in Latin America and by sending out letters to several employees with trojan. Poles believe. In early February, the head of the Dutch intelligence Rob Bertholet said Russian involvement in the cyber attacks on hundreds of state structures of the country, aimed at stealing classified documents.

“I think this is a threat to our democracy. The danger lies in the fact that they (the hackers -. “Times”) will be able to influence the work of parliament, as well as decision-making authorities, “- said Bertholet. This intelligence chief said that he would not take any action, as Russia will deny everything.

At the same time the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova called massive accusations of Western countries against Russia “flash mob.” “This flash mob is gaining more and more participants. Among the noted recently – Canada, Norway, UK, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Estonia. Listen, we do not have as many hackers, the truth, “- she said.

Information carelessness

The Dutch government before worrying about break-ins – vulnerability was discovered in 2006 in the software, after which e-voting has been banned in the country.

The voters began to vote in the old, filling paper ballots, but computers are still used in data processing.

Ten years later, the Netherlands and could not fully protect your email infrastructure and decided to completely abandon the machine counting.

In January, representatives of the European cluster on security issues The Hague Security Delta (HSD) offered free IT-support and lectures on information security on the Internet for the politicians and the Dutch Government. Such share held and the Dutch company RedSocks Security. It is reported that the proposal does not generate interest and response from government officials has been almost zero.

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In addition, a few weeks ago, a Dutch expert on cyber security Siim Rukhs, which is also called “friendly hacker”, said in his blog that the site of the majority of political parties, including the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy Mark Rutte and Freedom Party Geert Wilders is not installed the latest protection against possible hacker attacks.

During the pre-election period in the US scandal “Russian hackers” breaking concerned internal communications of the Democratic Party, not the actual voting process. It later confirmed the country’s intelligence services. However, this did not prevent the then US Presidential candidate Donald Trump speculate on fears that hackers can also affect the vote count.

“There were reports that the machines at the polling stations did not take into account the result of” For Trump, “when you give him a voice. Keep an eye out for this, make sure that your vote really counted, “- I read the text of one of the mailings by e-mail, which spread the campaign headquarters Trump.

However, the American experts on elections , these accusations have caused confusion . US buy German electronic voting machines without an Internet connection – specifically, to eliminate the possibility of “markups.” Every major city has a special technical support call centers that need to respond quickly to allegations of fraud. In addition, the machine data for a vote later check not only representatives of both major US parties, but also volunteers, among whom could theoretically sign of any American citizen.

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