Hacker alert at poll office

 The Delhi election office has geared up to face hackers from Pakistan and China. It is bolstering cyber security by creating a stronger firewall and setting up alternative backup databases which would come into play if hackers attack during parliamentary elections.

A senior Delhi electoral officer said the website of Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO Delhi) is under constant threat from these hackers, and several incidents have been reported in the past.

“The plan is to intensify the anti-hacking tools. The experts are preparing a strong firewall to avert any cyber attack. Pakistan and China hackers attack the Delhi’s electoral website right at the time of counting of vote to disrupt the live counting system,” he said.

Setting up of separate database at unpublicised locations will help officials in continuing the service uninterrupted.

“The Election Commission of India has specifically asked the Delhi election office to create a strong system that can prevent hacking. In last year’s Assembly elections, some hackers attacked the website. However, our experts averted the invasion but it led to delay in the live counting service for one or two hours,” he added.

Officials will set up backup servers in other cities, such as Noida or Hyderabad. The servers will provide real-time upgrading of data during voting and counting. If any group of hackers attacks the website, cyber experts will be pressed into service to hold them off. Simultaneously a real-time backup system will be activated for uninterrupted service.

“If the hackers attack again, the other backup will be used to continue the live update,” he added.

Cyber experts say the plan will work effectively against hackers.

“There are different security passwords, systems and matrix for different backup centres. It will not be an easy task for the hackers to attack multiple backup databases,” said Sumant Kumar Singh, a cyber expert.

In last couple of years, hackers from China and Pakistan have attacked many major websites of India, including those of National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). According to a government data, about 2,000 Indian government and non-government websites were attacked in the last two or three years.

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