Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Releases Federal Police Investigation In Which Superior Electoral Court ‘TSE’ Admits Hacker Access To Electronic Voting System Source Code And Deleted Logs
On Wednesday (4), the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro informed during an official live that he had access to new information that would demonstrate the possibility of fraud in the elections.
He presented, alongside the Federal Deputy and rapporteur of the project of an auditable votes commission, Filipe Barros (PSL-PR), an inquiry by the Federal Police in which the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) admits the occurrence of an invasion of internal systems, which a hacker would have accessed the source code of the electronic voting system. According to Bolsonaro, it would be proof that the 2018 election may have been frauded.
“We have in our hands here the proof – because who confirmed it was the TSE itself, it is not even the Federal Police, that in the period from April to November 2018, when we had elections and I was elected president – that the source code was in the hand of a hacker,” Bolsonaro said in the interview.
“And the source code being in the hand of a hacker, he can do anything. You can even press 1 and leave 13. You can press 17 and leave null. You can change votes, you can do anything. And at least this hacker was in there of computers that handle elections.”
According to official information from the Superior Electoral Court – TSE inquiry, the first invasion would have been noticed on April 20 and was detected by the staff of the Regional Court of the State of Pernambuco. But the attack would have started on the 18th of that month and would have continued until the 21st. The invasion and data scanning continued to the TREs in more States, Acre, Pará, Ceará, Bahia, and Paraíba.
Remembering that only Brazil, Butao, and Bangladesh use this type of first-generation voting machine.
The hacker would have been able to collect complete source code using the 2018 election file lists, and document content. Hackers would also have had access to keys and credentials to access servers used by the Gedai-EU system, passwords for officializing the “Candidatures” and “Electoral Schedule” systems, and used in the 2018 Supplementary Election in the city of Aperibé/Rio de Janeiro. The list of accessed/stolen information would still include the technical manual of the voting printer, the QR code manual of the ballot paper, among other data. The attacker would also have had access to the login of the TSE’s deputy minister, as well as several technicians linked to the top of the TSE’s Information Technology service.
Federal Deputy Filipe Barros said that he obtained a copy of the inquiry officially, from the PF delegate responsible for the investigation into the invasion, which took place in April 2018. The hacker would have remained for months in the TSE’s internal systems, including access to passwords of a minister and a server who would have access to the source code. For the deputy, he may have tampered with the software that was later installed in electronic voting machines.
“The TSE itself claims that the hacker had access to the keys. These keys are generated when the TSE performs a sealing ceremony, that they sign the software that goes to the ballot box afterward. And the material the hacker sent concerns the moment of It turns out that is very serious, because if the hacker had access to the software development and later the TSE sealed the software and placed it inside the voting machine, without anyone noticing because the software has more than 70 million lines of code-source.
So if he had access to all of this, even at the time the software was being developed, he may have made a change, a software programming, to make any deviation of votes. And even this software sealed and signed by the TSE itself.”, said the deputy.
The deputy, who is the PEC’s (Constitution emends proposal) rapporteur of the auditable vote in the Chamber, said that he made a copy of the inquiry available to all federal deputies so that everyone can see that the TSE system was actually invaded, and who said this is the TSE itself.
Bolsonaro said he read the inquiry and cited a passage in which the TSE also admits that the logs — files that record the data the hacker had access to in the court’s systems — had been erased.
“In other words, the TSE itself deleted the files where the hacker went and where he possibly tampered with. Now, it’s an investigation that the TSE should give top priority. We’ll resolve to plug the holes in the future. They haven’t done anything, simply, since November 2018, they were silent, they were quiet, putting stones on top. Now, we see, that series of people who went through the TSE, signing below that the system is inviolable. The TSE itself is saying that the system is not only inviolable, how it was violated,” Bolsonaro said.
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The president accused Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, who presides over the TSE, of lying because he said that the electronic voting system was inviolable.
“You know that, Minister. It doesn’t suit Your Excellency to lie shamelessly like that. And don’t try to play me against the Supreme Court, to take me to the side of corporatism, which is not what is at discussion here. I have no problem with any of the Supreme Court ministers, as I have no problems with any TSE minister,” he said in the interview.
The revelation of the invasion of the STF intranet was made by the website TecMundo, which specialized in technology news. The vehicle said it received messages from hackers narrating how they managed to break into the Court’s internal systems.
The TSE issued a notice stating that access to the source code did not affect the integrity of the election.