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Police Arrest Two for Poll Hacking in Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Program offered an unofficial poll for those who could not vote in last week’s elections, but it quickly came under attack the organizers’ said. According to local media, police have arrested two men on charges related to the incident.

Ahead of the actual vote on March 25, the University of Hong Kong offered those who were not allowed to vote a chance to express their opinions. The results would not have counted towards any official results, but that didn’t stop attackers from targeting the Web platform used for virtual ballot casting.

According to the university, shortly after the system went online it became “very busy.”

“We suspect it is under systematic attack as there are more than one million clicks on our system every second,” Robert Chung, the director of the university's Public Opinion Program, told the AFP on Friday.

The mock poll was rendered useless for the most part on Friday, and while loads were high on Saturday, university officials said the attack had tapered off some.

Local media in Hong Kong, RTHK, are reporting that police have arrested two men for their alleged involvement in the attacks. The men aged 17 and 28, were picked up by authorities on Saturday.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.