Rigged Presidential Elections in Ukraine? Cyber Attack on the Central Election Commission

In-depth Report:

It’s been four months now since the situation in Ukraine is close to a disaster. The presidential elections on May, 25 are seen by the western leaders as a crucial moment to unite Ukraine. But they should be held in democratic, transparent and fair conditions to show everybody in the world that the US and EU-backed authorities in Kiev are legitimate and can control the country.

Though this task appeared not so easy to accomplish. Two days before the elections the Ukrainian СyberBerkut hackers group hacked the Central Election Commission internal network and disabled its electronic information and analytical system.

The CEC representatives said they fully restored the system though hacktivists insist they still control the CEC network and the information transfer between central and district election commissions is blocked. According to the CyberBerkut website information (http://www.cyber-berkut.org/) it will be impossible to collect accurate data about voting turnout and preliminary results from all poll stations in the country until the ballots are delivered to Kiev and counted manually.

So all preliminary announcements and results are false.

CyberBerkut reports the CEC electronic system was designed by the US-based world-known SOE Software company (http://www.soesoftware.com/) that also provides its products to 34 US states’ election commissions.

Hackers are concerned that the Ukrainian election system has remained under control of the SOE Software administrators since its creation. The fact that SOE computer system was breached by a group of hackers casts shadow over the company’s reputation.


Screenshot of CEC servers connection log

The Ukrainian authorities try to conceal the problems but can’t agree what has really happened. According to Konstantin Hivrenko, the CEC press secretary, the problems occured due to routine technical maintenance that had nothing to do with a hacker attack. (http://ria.ru/world/20140522/100893392 5.html)A bit later Valentin Nalivaychenko, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, announced his department had removed a computer virus that had been “installed by a previous government” and aimed to destroy the election results. (http://112.ua/vybory_prezidenta/specsl uzhby-predotvratili-unichtozhenie-sistem y-vybory-nalivaychenko-66121.html)Moreover, early morning May, 25, saw all Ukrainian mass media reporting Arsen Avakov, the head of the Interior Ministry, confirmed the CEC electronic system was out of order at his personal website. But later Avakov tried to refute his own statements referring to another cyber attack.


The day before voting the election silence law was roughly breached by several candidates. Director General of the Ukrainian Voters Committee Aleksandr Chernenko said voters received sms and letters with a call to cast their votes for Petro Poroshenko. Outdoor agitation billboards still remained in the streets of the cities. Moreover, a great number of popular websites (versii.net, novosti.ua, miroshnychenko.ua) were hacked, their home pages showed Petro Poroshenko’s picture and a slogan calling to vote for him.


It was impossible to avoid violations of the electoral law violations on election day. According to Arsen Avakov MIA registered more than a thousand violations which question the validity of the voting results.

Though the authorities ignore many reports on violations people write in the social networks that they witnessed stuffing with false voting ballots, so called “Carousel” voting and numerous procedural faults.


The legitimacy of the elections is also doubtful.

The eastern regions of Ukraine are a war zone where the security forces can’t provide the voting process.

Only two of 12 election districts could open polling stations to receive voters in Lugansk region and just seven of 22 in Donetsk region.

Besides the federalists seized a polling station in Severodonetsk, attacked other ones in Kherson and other cities.

Meanwhile the Central Election Commission tries to conceal the problems as though it doesn’t matter that they can totally change the election outcome.

The so long expected elections turned out in a farce. Numerous violations and combat operations in the East make the elections illegitimate and difficult for other countries’ leaders  to acknowledge the newly elected president.

And the failed election can only aggravate the crisis in the country.

Articles by: Anna Mihailenko

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