An attempt to hack into the official government website responsible for formally counting and reporting Colombia’s election results was discovered as voting began on Sunday.
|Colombia’s 2014 elections|
The commander of the National Police, General Rodolfo Palomino, stated that an attempt to hack into the Registry Office and other government agencies related to the electoral process was discovered as polling stations opened on Sunday morning.
Three separate attacks were discovered and stopped, enabling the electoral process to continue without incident.
Such hacking attempts were prevented using more advanced technology installed for these elections by the Registry Office. The process of vote collecting will also be made public once all votes have been counted in the interest of knowing if any irregularities found during the process are “a computer glitch or the result of hacking” according to Registrar General, Carlos Ariel Sanchez.
The presidential elections passed without major incident, with Colombia’s Election Observation Mission (MOE) recording 285 complaints of electoral irregularities and the Interior Ministry recording 495 complaints.
With regards to the hacking attempts however, Sanchez seemed confident stating that “we have experience on the subject of hackers and the most they can do is delay the delivery of the election results.”
However this is not the first example of hacking in these elections. Presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga came under question during his campaign as a member of his team, Andres Sepulveda, was arrested for wiretapping ongoing peace talks between the Colombian government and Colombia’s oldest guerrilla group the FARC as well as private communications of Zuluaga’s closest political rival, incumbent President, Juan Manuel Santos.
A video was later released showing Zuluaga listening to this allegedly illegally gained information but the presidential hopeful dismissed the video as having been “edited and manipulated” in an attempt to disrupt his campaign.