AEC to review resilience of electoral structures

The Australian Electoral Commission is taking no possibilities with the resilience of its outdated IT structures following speculation that overseas cyber attackers stimulated the outcome of last year’s US election.

The employer is making ready to observe the safety of its core electoral structures ahead of the following federal election, which might be held in either 2018 or 2019, to identify any vulnerabilities that might be lurking.

It is likewise eager to avoid a repeat of final 12 months’s DDoS attack on the Australian Bureau of Statistics eCensus answer. Like the Census, federal elections are considered the most important peace-time logistical events in Australia.

AEC’s present day election and enrolment control structures have been first delivered within the early Nineteen Nineties, however a loss of funding with the aid of the federal government has caused the want for either considerable upgrades or alternative of the organization’s two core structures.

Last month, a parliamentary committee determined the getting old IT systems risked compromising the integrity of Australia’s federal voting machine, with out the allocation of additional investment for an IT overhaul.

“Voters have to have faith within the election end result and truth that no bias or errors have prompted the outcome. Change is now imperative to maintain this self-assurance and the AEC wishes additional resourcing to keep tempo,” the report stated.

The joint committee also cited that “cyber protection threats to Australian electoral method need to be successfully identified and mitigated” after the AEC recommended that the age of its structures rendered them susceptible to evolving cyber threats.


The company has taken the findings of the committee onboard and is presently on the hunt for employees to conduct a holistic safety overview of its IT surroundings and propose how any vulnerabilities is probably addressed.

It needs a number of its structures to be reviewed, inclusive of the electoral roll control gadget, that is used for polling region control and vote count tabulation, in addition to the company manufacturing community, wi-fi community, email gateway, and its AWS hosted public web servers.

“The AEC is based on a couple of structures to effectively deliver a federal election. These system paintings collectively to provide the infrastructure important to both without delay deliver an election, and to offer company lower back-office guide for team of workers involve in the election”, a quick at the virtual marketplace states.

The overview will consist of an active compromise strive from both within the AEC community and externally, and a review of the enterprise’s current Splunk security monitoring configuration before and after the compromise attempt, the enterprise said.

Penetration trying out might be performed on the operating machine, alongside restricted software layer checking out, firewall and ACL testing (at the server degree), and database and community equipment security controls checking out.

Additionally, as new, greater powerful processors grow to be to be had, developers need for you to combine those components into legacy systems without rewriting programs.

Popcorn Linux pursuits to close the developing gap between performance and programmability by way of clustering heterogeneous processors and mixing their exceptional strengths. This method has several advantages, according to challenge leader and engineering professor Binoy Ravindran. “Many programs have various computational styles,” he said. “By jogging code additives on matching processors, you may improve overall performance or lessen power consumption.”

“By applying Popcorn Linux to longtime, legacy Navy and Marine Corps computer structures, we can enhance software program without requiring hundreds of man-hours to rewrite hundreds of thousands of strains of code,” said Wen Masters, head of ONR’s C4ISR Department. “This may want to yield good sized savings in maintenance expenses.”

Popcorn Linux continues to be an evidence-of-idea prototype, however, the system is ready to enter a brand new segment of development.

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“In our lab and academic putting, we’ve established that Popcorn Linux works nicely with admire to performance speed and energy usage,” said Ravindran. “Later this yr, we’ll paintings with enterprise companions to create a model of Popcorn Linux that may meet the strenuous industrial standards required by means of the Navy and Marine Corps.”