On Monday (16), the president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Luís Roberto Barroso, stated that he requested the opening of an investigation to the Federal Police to investigate the cyber attack that targeted the Electoral Justice systems last Sunday (15) , marked by the first round of municipal elections across the country.
The denial of service attack, also known as the DDoS attack, did not steal data, nor did it affect electronic voting machines and election results. However, it resulted in absurd slowness in remote TSE services across Brazil, thanks to requests from 435,000 connections – from countries like Brazil, the United States and New Zealand.
Along with this attack, the TSE president also requested an investigation of the leak of old data, conveniently released this Sunday in an attempt to delegitimize the integrity of the electronic ballot boxes and the entire electoral process.
He points out that the leak was made at some point in the past (without specifying the occasion) and noted that “as soon as they were leaked, digital militias immediately went into action trying to discredit the system”. Without saying that he started a joint action, Barroso commented that there is a suspicion that it was an articulated movement of extremist groups that seek to discredit the institutions.
No impact on votes
As soon as news of the release of the old data and the denial of service attack, the coalition of media outlets found out with the TSE that there is no possibility of an external virtual attack on electronic voting machines. The equipment does not have any means of connecting to the internet, whether wired or wireless.
Since 1996, votes have been registered and counted from the Digital Voting Record, removed from the machine after the voting period has ended and the ballot printed with the result of that ballot box. Soon after being removed, he is sent to a private transmission pole, which subsequently sends the data to the TSE.
The receipt of data in the TSE system could even be impacted by remote attacks; however, any suspicion of external interference leads the authorities to check again with the pole and, subsequently, the printed bulletin for each ballot box, minimizing the risk of interference with the results.