The Australian Electoral Commission wants a stress test of ageing IT infrastructure completed ahead of the next election, part of international efforts to protect against foreign hacking such as Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential vote. Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers has conceded authorities in Australia and New Zealand remain “nervous” about the risk of domestic or overseas hacking and disruption to “front-facing services” including the online enrolment system, postal vote application system and virtual tally room. The Council of Australian Governments has ordered health checks of electoral systems, with intelligence organisations including the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Security Centre co-operating with the AEC ahead of a possible federal election in late 2018 or early 2019.
… Russia’s involvement in Donald Trump’s shock election win and ongoing interference attempts have been considered by governments around the world, including the Four Countries Conference that brings together officials from Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.
This week it was revealed Russian Twitter bots sent messages supporting Britain’s opposition Labour Party during the last general election in 2017, part of attempts to influence the outcome and see Jeremy Corbyn oust Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May.