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Election Officials Alleged Hacking of Voter List

Locals, left, sit for registering their names during a voter registration process of the National Election Committee (NEC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. NEC started its three-month-long voter registration in the day for the next general election scheduled for July 2018. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Commune elections are scheduled for June 4, followed by a general election in 2018.

Cambodia’s senior election body has alleged that the national voter list, posted online last week, was hacked by an individual or group based overseas.

Hang Puthea, National Election Committee (NEC) spokesman, said the hack had occurred after the list was posted online on January 3.

The hacker or hackers succeeded in freezing access to the site, he added.

“Even though the problem is solved and it did not cause any errors in the voter list, the NEC and other authorities will trace the hackers and send them to court,” he said.

“The hack was orchestrated from overseas and it could have disrupted the process of searching. The important files were stored properly and securely with expert assistance,” he added.

Koul Panha, executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, criticized the ease with which the system was breached.

“The hacking issue has not been clearly discussed previously and now the website was hacked,” he said. “The NEC should cooperate with experts, internally and externally, on how to prevent future hacks.”

“It will not affect the result of the election since the process of counting is done manually.”

Commune elections are scheduled for June 4, followed by a general election in 2018.