Amidst Kenya’s general elections, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is assuring Kenyans that the IT system used for collating results of the presidential elections is safe from intruders.
Insiders at the IEBC, however, are reporting attempts. According to one, about 200 hacking attempts had been made between Thursday 4 PM and Friday 8 AM (EAT).
The Star reports that an agent from one of the main parties attempted to hack the system from the National Tallying Centre in Bomas. Later on the same day, IEBC officials blocked another suspected party agent from grabbing and abscondingwith an IEBC gadget.
Two media houses were also reportedly hacked on Friday with one having its data contaminated, The Nation reports.
While the IEBC is empowered to organise elections, tally votes, and announce a winner, Kenyan media houses have also been involved in relaying votes to the public. Earlier this year, IEBC instated parallel tallying and granted media and civil society organisations permission to set up a parallel tallying centre. This means while the IEBC counts votes, media houses also have access to forms that allow them to count alongside the IEBC in a bid to promote transparency. Two of these media houses—unnamed by The Nation—suffered hacking attempts.
Many other media houses are also experiencing slower tallying as they don’t have enough manpower to keep up with the IEBC’s speed.
As required by Kenyan electoral laws, the IEBC must relay the final results of the presidential elections tomorrow, Tuesday August 16. Till then, aggressions might continue at Bomas as the IEBC continues to tally the votes. On Saturday, IEBC commissioner Abdi Guliye ordered politicians and anyone who had no specific duty to vacate the tallying centre after several shouting matches between opposing parties led to delays and rigging accusations at the tallying centre.