Skip to main content

Russia's Blockchain Voting System Could Allow Users Decrypt Results Before Official Count!




According to local reports, the blockchain-based system allowed constituents to decipher their own private votes or let third-parties do so.
Russia’s blockchain-based voting system for the constitutional amendments had a vulnerability that reportedly made it possible to decipher votes before the official count. 

Could Constituents decipher own private keys? 

According to research by Russia-language news outlet Meduza, when the constituents casted their vote via a special website, the results would get encrypted by a JavaScript library called TweetNaCl.js. 
This is an implementation of  "Networking and Cryptography," or NaCi, cryptography library created by mathematician Daniel J. Bernstein and two other contributing cryptographers Tanja Lange and Peter Schwabe. 
Per Meduza, the voting system relied on the deterministic encryption, meaning that using the same parameters lead to identical ciphertexts. Both the sender and the receiver received a shared key, which could be used for encryption or decryption of the message.
That means that any constituent could theoretically decipher their own vote before it would be decrypted by the electoral commission, could even allow third parties to do so in their place. In order to do that, the voter had to save their private keys.
To retrieve the private key, the constituent had to go to the e-bulletin page, and open the developer console in their browser and make minor adjustment to the election.js library (add logpoint, enter: voter secret key is', encryptor.keyPair.secretKey) and then cast their vote. 
Meduza conducted an experiment where all participants retrieved their private keys, and were reportedly able to decipher all the votes and data as a result. 

Is there a positive side to the current bug?

According to the publication, the vulnerability theoretically allows employers to ensure that their employees voted, even check their votes after inducing them to save their private keys. There have been reports suggesting that state-funded entities in Russia pushed their employees to vote at the government’s request.
On the other hand, the same bug could be used to increase transparency of the vote in the scenario where the electoral commission refuses to publish the decryption of each vote (as it did after Moscow City Duma election in 2019, where blockchain was also supposedly used). 
Meduza elaborated, “For example, supporters of one specific candidate may agree to install the same browser extension. That way, they can track the minimum number of votes that their candidate should definitely get after the count”. 

77.9% voted for the amendments, apparently allowing Putin to rule until 2036

The E-voting commenced from June 25 to June 30 for residents of Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod, and was based on the Exonum blockchain platform developed by Bitfury. The remaining regions could only vote offline. 
The referendum itself ended yesterday, on July 1. With all the ballots counted earlier today, with 77.9% votes for the reform package and 21.3% against, according to the electoral commission earlier today.
As for the e-vote results, 62.33% of the Moscow voters supported the amendments and 37.37% opposed it. In Nizhniy Novgorod, the results were somewhat similar: 59.69% and 40.31% of the constituents voted “for” and “against” respectively. 
Notably, one e-bulletin was deemed invalid. As explained by a Moscow government official, the voting user stopped "the transaction between a mouse click and getting it into the crypto library of his computer." Since the blockchain can only take “yes” or “no” for an answer, the system allegedly marked the said vote as invalid during decryption process.
Citing the Constitutional amendments, Vladimir Putin’s term limits will be reset in 2024, meaning that he may remain president until 2036.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

  Pick a niche The Blockchain and Crypto space is large and full of opportunities. Most people limit the industry to just a place to trade and make quick cash little do they know that you can actually build a career and achieve much more. There's a lot of skills required in blockchain technology. Firstly, you can become a trader, a day time trader or night trade it all depends on your schedule. You can actually make 10 to 20% of your capital daily or even more depending on the volume of your capital and trading strategy. you can become an investor who spots good coins and invests in a project you believe will do well, you can hodl, meaning you can buy and hold for short or long term period.  OTC trading is actually underrated, you can become an over the counter trader by just buying and selling cryptocurrency through the P2P Platforms or escrow groups, there's a lot of money to be made here if you move volumes on a daily. You can become an expert in technical analysis and give
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT  NON FUNGIBLE TOKENS NFTs (or "non-fungible tokens") are a kind of digital asset with a unique kind of token-unlike other assets like bitcoin and dollar bills which have a particular and fixed amount that is accepted by all, NTFS have a unique price for every token. Every NFT is Unique, they can be used to authenticate ownership of digital assets like musical records, artwork, virtual real estates and pets. NFTs could be likened to a kind of certificate of authenticity for digital artefacts. They're are actually been used to sell a huge range of collectables currently including: *A tweet by Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban. *Video art by Grimes *The Original "Nyan cat" meme *Virtual real Estate in a place called Decentraland  and others...   As other digital assets like Bitcoin and other cryptos has grown in popularity over the years, NFTs have also soared — growing to an estimated $338 million in 2020. Each NFT is s

Differentiating Scam Crypto Projects And Legit Projects

Since Bitcoin became mainstream, we have seen countless scam schemes that claim to be crypto projects but are just scam projects that seek to cart away with investors money. a whole lot of them have succeed and are still succeeding in doing this. the reason why they keep getting away with this schemes, is that a lot of crypto enthusiasts and investors don't have a proper knowledge of how the cryptocurrency space works. This is the reason why we have decided to put some contents together both on our YouTube channel and podcast to give investors and especially newbies the heads up to figure out when scam projects come knocking. The crypto space is in its early stage with peculiar opportunities as well as challenges. There are scammers in probably every walk of life, seeking and exploring new ways and opportunities to extort their victims. below we will discuss give key points to figure out a scam or ponzi project. Five ways to know scam or crypto projects Important to