Cyber attack on election system, as 1.5 million Finns vote in advance

The denial of service took place over the weekend, according to the National Bureau of Investigation.

File picture of woman voting in election with Finnish flag behind / Credit: Getty Images

The National Bureau of Investigation NBI is looking into the circumstances around an apparent cyber attack against Finland’s election information systems.

It happened over the weekend, when the official results service was hit by a denial of service attack. The service sends results to the media, among others.

The incident is being investigated as ‘grave telecommunications harassment’ under Finnish law.

“The preliminary investigation is at an early stage, so the exact type of criminal charge might become more accurate as the investigation progresses” says Marko Leponen from the NBI’s Cyber Centre.

“The authorities have prepared for this type of suspected cyber crime in the elections. In general, attacks on public services are quite common, and especially current or publicly available services are often attractive targets” Leponen explains.

Early voting comes to an end

Meanwhile more than 1.5 million eligible Finns voted in advance of the general election, as the early voting period came to a close on Monday night.

According to the official figures, some 36.1% of voters cast their ballots at hundreds of advance polling stations around the country.

Although in general the turn out was high, it varied from region to region.

The busiest part of Finland was in the north, where 43.9% of voters in Lapland voted early. The lowest early turn out was Åland with just 14.% of people casting their ballots in advance.

On the mainland, Uusimaa had the lowest turn-out but it was still a very healthy 31.2%.

The general election takes place on Sunday.

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