Academy Awards Voting Paralyzed by Hacker Fears

According to The Hollywood Reporter, security measures put in place to keep hackers from disrupting the Oscars‘ online voting system might just be making it too hard for less technically literate Academy members to vote.

“The Academy enlisted Everyone Counts — an electronic voting company whose clients include the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.K.’s Ministry of Justice — back in January to help develop a secure system for voting online,” writes The Atlantic Wire’s Esther Zuckerman. “Maybe too secure.”

“Several members stressed that they carefully typed in their password three different times, were rejected each time and, after the third, were locked out of trying again until they contacted the toll-free help line,” writes THR’s Scott Feinberg. “Some say they endured considerable wait times, only to be told that they could set a new password but would need to wait 24 hours for the password database to refresh before they could try again.”

One Academy member told Feinberg, “I still haven’t voted. I couldn’t remember my password, so [after a few tries] they locked me out of it. … It’s easier to break into the CIA.”

“The secrecy and integrity of the Academy’s voting process has never been breached in 84 years,” notes Deadline’s Pete Hammond. “It is a dream target. That is why the Academy has meticulously designed a system that is highly secured against hacking. Unfortunately that’s precisely how some of its frustrated, less techy members must be feeling when they try to simply cast a ballot.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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