Justice Priscilla Chigumba has claimed that suspected hackers recently broke into the electoral management body’s database and stole crucial information on the biometric voters’ roll, escalating fears of electoral manipulation ahead of the polls.
This comes in the wake of the publication of a report by an independent data management team exposing irregularities, errors, and omissions on the voters’ roll, which threatens the credibility of the polls, which are just a few days away.
On Monday Chigumba told local radio station that the hackers cloned the commission’s domain, which hosted the voters’ roll complete with phone numbers and splashed the data all over the internet.
“That was a serious cybersecurity breach. They actually cloned our site and we are in the process of doing something about it and we should have that site taken down in the course of the week,” she added.
“The host is UK-based, so it’s not actually in Zimbabwe. So we can’t use any of our local laws to bring it down, but we are trying our best.”
The development raises further concerns over the credibility of the voters’ roll and security of the ballot considering that the biometric voters’ data captured by Zec during the voter registration included personal details such as fingerprints, pictures, addresses, cellphone numbers, national identity numbers and physical addresses.
The alleged security breach came after the Election body was warned by biometric voter registration kits suppler Laxton Group Limited that such security breaches were possible.
“Allowing this data to go through multiple systems and companies will create obvious issues and open up holes for a data breach,” Laxton Group warned in a security report dated June 6, 2017.
Chigumba made the disclosure after she was accused of leaking voters’ personal phone number to the ruling Zanu PF party.
ZEC Commissioner said they had now roped in ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira to assist with the investigations.
Zec director of public relations Justin Manyau confirmed receipt of the report and said it had been forwarded to the body’s technical team.
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