Over 3.400 ethical hackers fail to crack Swiss Post's e-voting system

Over 3.400 ethical hackers fail to crack Swiss Post's e-voting system

More than 3.400 ethical hackers have been unable to infiltrate the e-voting system developed by the Swiss postal service. The system, which is expected to be used in some Swiss elections and referendums next year, detected no security-related faults throughout the test.

Swiss Post invites hackers to hack their system

According to SRF, the post office employed more than 3.400 so-called “ethical hackers” to try and attack the e-voting system that it had developed. This is partly in response to a report published in the spring, where the Federal Chancellery said it found a number of flaws with the system that needed addressing before it could be used by the government, cantons and councils (Gemeinde) to help people vote.

During the test, more than 3.400 hackers from around the world took part in an “intrusion test” from August 8 to September 2. Their task was to find weaknesses in the system itself and to see whether data could be leaked or exploited. Although it may sound strange, isn't the first time they have been used for this purpose, with ethical hackers discovering 10 faults in Swiss government systems earlier this year.

Swiss Post's e-voting system to be used in 2023 elections

Hackers managed to attack the system 60.000 times, but to no avail. Swiss Post explained that the system is only accessible via a security code sent physically by post, meaning it is especially difficult to access and will allow individuals to vote officially yet anonymously. The postal service hopes to roll out the e-voting system to Canton Basel-Stadt, St. Gallen and Thurgau by next year’s cantonal and federal elections in November 2023. 

However, SRF noted that the government is lukewarm to the idea and will only allow 30 percent of Swiss citizens to use the system to vote on the cantonal level, and only 10 percent will be allowed to use it to vote federally. Voters living abroad, or those with a disability, are not included in this limit.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

Read more



Leave a comment