Hacking fears haunt UK general election

Survey comes days after NSA blames Russian military for US election interference

Hacking

Fears of election hacking have spread to the UK as the general public heads to polling stations today.

A total 40% of Brits are worried that the general election may be affected by hackers in some way, compared to 24% who aren't worried at all, a survey of 780 voters ran this week by antivirus firm Avast found.

The survey also asked whether respondents would trust an electronic voting system, with 52% saying they would not. The news comes the same week that a leaked US spy agency report alleged that Russian military intelligence targeted US voting systems days before the presidential election.

Pete Turner, consumer security expert at Avast, said: "The claims that Russian hackers have had some influence on last year's US presidential election has sparked a wave of scepticism around the safety of electronic voting here in the UK."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

France withdrew electronic voting for citizens living abroad ahead of its parliamentary elections in March over hacking fears too.

Despite this, 30% of those surveyed said they were in favour of adopting the electronic vote for all voters. Avast said this may have been driven by factors such as "increasing voter turnout on days of inclement weather, and easing the process for UK nationals living abroad, who currently must vote through post or proxy".

Avast claimed that the survey shows that demand for e-voting was outstripped by concerns that it could be manipulated.

Turner added: "The move to digital is a necessary part of evolving the electoral process for the benefit of the public. Rather than simply abandoning the move to e-voting, politicians need to reassure the public that, when the move to e-voting does take place, that the proper security measures are in place to ensure that the democratic process is not open to abuse."

There are currently no plans to introduce e-voting in the UK. The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats do not support implementing the electronic vote, though the Digital Democracy Commission has previously called for its introduction by 2020, while echoing worries over fraud and ballot secrecy.

More statistics from Avast showed that 67% of people surveyed were revealed to have abandoned social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook, as reliable sources of election news, following the US election's fake news issues, and only 15% of respondents believed that social media could be trusted in regards to the election.

Featured Resources

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354230/microsoft-not-amazon-is-going-to-win-the-cloud-wars
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Visit/hardware/354232/raspberry-pi-4-owners-complain-of-broken-wi-fi-when-using-hdmi
Hardware

Raspberry Pi 4 owners complain of broken Wi-Fi when using HDMI

29 Nov 2019
Visit/cloud/amazon-web-services-aws/354223/what-to-expect-from-aws-reinvent-2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

What to expect from AWS Re:Invent 2019

29 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/google-android/354189/samsung-galaxy-a90-5g-review-simply-the-best-value-5g-phone
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019