According to information from the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) obtained by O Globo, hackers managed to steal data from the institution for 2020. The information would have been subtracted from the TSE Server Portal, with personal data from judges and other officials, if the attack took place in September this year, and not on Election Day 2020.
The first part of the leak contained data from an old TSE server, with information from servers that worked at the institution between 2001 and 2010. Now, data from 2020 have been found on the web, the data dates back only until September, implying that the attack would have occurred in that particular month.
The hackers would then have waited for Election Day 2020 to make the stolen information available on the internet in order to have more impact, allowing the population to question the fairness of the electoral process. According to an analysis by SaferNet, there was a coordinated criminal campaign by a series of individuals and hacker groups in order to discredit the elections, thus opening the possibility for defeated candidates to question the results of the election.
And the delay in calculating the results?
The delay in the counting of votes by the TSE also contributed to this feeling of doubt, but the institution explained that it acquired an Oracle supercomputer to make the counting of votes in a centralized and safer way, but this machine registered failures at the time of counting. The Court explains that there was not enough time to carry out adequate tests on the equipment due to limitations imposed by the covid-19 pandemic.
It is important to note that employee data leaks have no implication in vote counting. Electronic voting machines do not have any possibility of being connected to a network, preventing any type of large-scale hacker attack. The results of each ballot box are transported in physical memories and then transmitted to the TSE through a private network, physically separated from the common internet, accessible only from the headquarters of the Regional Courts and from the TSE itself.