Hacker finds vulnerabilities in Dutch election software in under one hour

Hacker finds vulnerabilities in Dutch election software in under one hour

After less than an hour’s work, a hacker has been able to find vulnerabilities in software that is set to be used in the upcoming Dutch elections. The municipalities are working on resolving the issue before voting day on November 22. 

Software is used to count votes on polling day

The software in question is used to count up the number of votes in different municipalities on election day. The version containing the vulnerabilities was first released in the autumn of 2021 and was used in municipal elections and at the provincial elections

Authorities hope that the current version of the software will not be used in the upcoming general election in November. They are working on a fix to make sure that the software is in perfect shape ahead of the big day. 

Hacker could have manipulated the software

While not much is known about the breach, NOS reports that the hacker, who reported the vulnerability to the Electoral Council, found serious vulnerabilities that could have given malicious actors access to the software. For instance, the fault could have allowed a modified version of the software to be distributed, potentially leading to a manipulation of the vote. 

The hacker who found the vulnerability, Maarten Boone, said it took him less than an hour to spot the breach, but praised the head of IT at the Electoral Council. “They picked it up very quickly and the resolution went smoothly and was super fast,” Boone told NOS.

Image: Jacqueline van Kerkhof / 



Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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