Hackers can interfere in voting for “Oscar”

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Some members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have expressed concerns that the results of electronic voting for “Oscar” this year may have been compromised by hackers. Voting for nominees’ for Oscar-2013 started on December 17 and will end on January 3. For the first time it is held over the Internet.


Voting rights have been given to 5783 registered members of the American Academy, separated in 15 different guilds. The largest is the actor’s guild (1311 people or 22% of the total). Each guild votes on a category. Thus, the actors choose the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, etc. Special Academy Award voting group is created to select the nominees and winners in the categories of “Best Documentary Film”, “Best Foreign Language Film ‘ , “Best Make-up”, “Best Short Film”, “Best sound editing” and “best special effects”. All members of the Film Academy vote for only one category – “Best Picture.”

Journalists at Hollywood Reporter conducted a survey of voters in order to learn how to organize the procedure. The results were disappointing. About half of the respondents mentioned problems with site navigation, and some person named site a “disaster.” They also expressed concern that hackers can fake the results.

Representatives of the Academy Awards said that the electronic voting system is secure, most of the claims of users is that they have forgotten their password or entered it incorrectly.

Each member of the Academy Awards, with voting rights, received in December an email letter with voter identification number (VIN). Through this number, they can until January 2, create their personal password to vote other than the usual password to the site.

Password requirements: From 8 to 16 characters, must contain at least one number, one capital letter and one special character (, @, #, $, etc.). When you enter a password on the site entered letters are not displayed in the input field, and after three incorrect attempts account is blocked. Unlocking is done by calling a special toll-free number. Database updates twice a day, so they sometimes have to wait long before a new password becomes active. “It’s easier to break the CIA than the system”, – said one of the respondents in the poll Hollywood Reporter. However, others say that this site has been created by hackers rather than ordinary people. Some of them fear that their ballots could change after the vote, because the system was originally designed in such a way that voters have the opportunity to change their mind.

The situation with the Internet voting is compounded by the fact that the average age of the median is 62 years, and some of them do not have computers. As a result, according to experts, this year in voting for the “Oscar” will be attended by minimum number of experts.

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