The Miss Hong Kong Pageant was hit by a cyber attack on Sunday that disrupted online voting for the title.

"The pageant's organiser, Hong Kong broadcast giant TVB, had earlier promised that this year's Miss Hong Kong pageant would be the most 'democratic' edition of the pageant yet," Channel NewsAsia reports. "The panel of judges would select the top 3 contestants, but online voters will be allowed to decide how they will place."

"Sadly, TVB’s first ever attempt to institute a democratic online system to decide on the winner was overwhelmed by data traffic in what appeared to be a massive denial-of-service attackm," writes The Register's Phil Muncaster. "This led to the judges choosing Carat Cheung Ming-nga as Hong Kong’s representative at next year’s Miss World bikini-fest."

The Register reports that Microsoft, whose Azure platform was used for the online poll, says data traffic during the voting period was much higher than the total population of Hong Kong. "We therefore have grounds to suspect that the application was attacked by malicious hackers, causing abnormal disruption in the operation of the application and thus the subsequent uploading of related data to the cloud system for further processing," the company says.

"TVB had announced it would give away a Mini Cooper to a randomly selected voter to attract viewers to vote on Sunday, but no one was picked due to the server crashing," writes The Standard's Kelly Ip.