Dear Sir / Madam
I would like to inform you about an observation I made <...>
which has particularly alarmed me. On the official website of the Ministry of the Interior, in the section where the results of Singular Logic are listed and maintained, there are important mistakes / changes in the May 2012 election results.
While the elections were held on Sunday 6 May and the results formalized on Monday May 7, the page is reportedly changed to 22 / 05 / 2012 with some minor changes in the results numbers. I can not tell whether this was due to a mistake in the website's database or whether it was a deliberate criminal act, so I would like to have a look at it and respond to it.
While the error also appears in comparison with the June results here:
You can compare the numbers you see there with those that were officially announced on 7 May, as recorded in the media, eg here: http://www.tanea.gr/ellada/article/?aid=4718584
You will notice that some parties were added to other cuts while one remained stable. At the end of the "shuffle" of votes, with 886 insertions and 894 deductions, the results were found to contain 8 fewer votes of the original. For some parties the difference with authentic votes is not very important: the smallest gain is 0.0005% while the largest 0.0838%. For some others, however, they had taken only a few votes, it is crucial: the smallest loss is -0.0002% but the largest -98.9583% (!!).
I quote an attached table that I prepared with the differences in the results.
I look forward to the results of your research.
Thank you in advance.
Note SecNews: SecNews has NOT been able to clarify why this differentiation exists. In a communication with the editorial team with Mr. Konstantinos Goutzis, he stated that according to his personal appreciation the above differentiation could mean one of the following:
- The original results published in the press as official on 7 May were wrong for unknown reasons
- The current results are wrong due to some collapse of the Singular database
- The present results have been changed voluntarily and illegally by someone / some
In any case, as Mr. Goutzis mentions "The credibility of Singular Logic, its databases and the new SRT program used to transmit the results is judged."
"Changes may be small numbers, but only the possibility of malicious use of the system brings more general concern about the validity of the results."
SecNews publishes the above without a personal appreciation of the editors, after informing the reader. We estimate (not knowing precisely the electoral process and importing the data) that the above differentiation is NOT due solely to a technical error but probably to some details that escape the reader-researcher or the actors who actively participated in the electoral process. We have sent an e-mail to the company Singular Logic with regard to the issues raised by the reader in case he wishes to post a press release.
SecNews thanks Mr. Konstantinos Goutzis for detailed information.
[Update 1: 22 / 6 / 2012 - 21: 58] Following the response from Singular Logic and the Ministry of the Interior Mr. Goutzis submitted the following answer on his website, which we are relaying:
"I contacted by email with the Ministry of Interior, Singular Logic and the Electronic Crime Department, asking them to investigate the case. The next day my letter posted on the Greek page SecNews, which publishes news about computer and network security. Shortly after the reshare, I received a response from Mr. Koulou, the head of the Ministry of Interior's Department for Development and Support of Applied Mechanics, who explained to me the reason that the latest changes have been made to 22 / 05. It was the day of the last formal interference in the final results, with corrections that emerged "from inspections carried out by the Ministry, but also by the parties themselves".
What Mr Cuolos did not explain to me was because there were errors in the figures of Singular's automated system, since everything works digitally, so there is no such thing as "Copy error". I sent him a new email asking for further information on this particular issue but I have not received any response until now *.
The next day Singular Logic communicated direct with the SecNews page, quoting the email I received from Mr. Coulos and adding that their "it addresses to a large extent the individual errors resulting from the traditional mode of transmission and has even been used to identify such mistakes". They also reported that their system is much better compared to "traditional mode of transmission", Such as"telephone / telegram / fax [and] a simple photocopying carried by a messenger".
What has not been clarified in any of the two emails is why these corrections should have been made two weeks after the end of the count. Suspended votes on the official website of the ministry are not like the text of a press release where you can correct a spelling mistake at any time. They are a point of reference for those who have no direct access to the competent Courts of First Instance and, because of their significance and weight, have been given the task of the same large private company that collects and broadcasts the election results from 1981.
The final conclusion of this whole story, which may be obvious to those involved in computers, though perhaps not to the average citizen, is that no computerized system, however automated it may be, avoids human error. It may be faster than our "traditional ways", but as soon as you carry something wrong, it remains wrong. It turns out so, once again, how much not we are still ready for a totally electronic governance where everything will be exclusively digitized, regardless of whether the governors are aiming to digitize almost all state functions, agorb and hurriedly.
Finally, add another parameter to the above, ending with a saying attributed to the computer security expert Bruce Schneier:The only secure computer system in the world is out of the socket, locked in a bottom-bottom safe and only one person knows the location and combination of this safe. And he's dead."But even so, you're not sure.
* A few hours after the publication of this renewal, I received an answer from Mr Coulos, who verified the human error theory.
SecNews thanks Mr. Goutzis for his valid and thorough information on his research.