UK: Hackers alert on voting for new Conservative Party leader and next prime minister
On the advice of the National Cyber Security Center, the Conservative Party has decided to change the rules to prevent compromising the selection of the next prime minister
From Nicole Dennis, reporter from London And the
August 3, 2022
The 160,000 Conservative Party members ready to vote for the new Conservative Party leader and British Prime Minister will have to wait for the postman for another week. Ballot submissions have been delayed due to fears of hostile activity by Russian or Chinese hackers.
On the advice of the National Cyber Security Center, the Conservative Party decided to change the rules to prevent compromising on the choice of the next prime minister. “Defending the democratic electoral system is our priority and that’s why we advised the Conservative Party how to protect online voting,” a spokesperson for the National Center for Cyber Security explained.
It was stipulated that party members could vote online or by mail once they received the ballot, but with the option to change the vote by casting a new preference online in the following weeks. Now the ability to change your mind about the chosen candidate depending on the progress of the campaign has been eliminated, fearing that the system will be vulnerable to hacker interference. Revised and corrected ballot papers will now be delivered by August 11 and will contain a unique code that must be entered by the voter when voting by mail and online. For security reasons, the code can only be used once. “As soon as we receive a mail ballot, we will delete the online voting code to reduce the risk of potential fraud,” the party explained in a letter sent to members today, explaining the reasons for the delay.
The Conservative Party will have to choose between Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, and Rishi Sunak, the ex-treasury secretary whose decision to quit in protest of Boris Johnson’s modus operandi led to the ex-prime minister leaving the scene. YouGov’s poll of party members cemented Truss as a super favorite, giving her a 34-point lead over Sunak. 86% of those interviewed have already decided how to vote, cementing the foreign secretary’s lead, but experts warn that polls among conservatives are unreliable, because no one knows exactly how many and who they are.
Moreover, the vote in Sunak’s favor may be postponed, according to his supporters, because the former chancellor will have more time to catch up. “It’s still early days,” Sunak said, expressing optimism. The result of the vote will be announced on September 5, the day Parliament will reopen after the summer recess.
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