Police probe internet attack on Finland election service

POLICE in Finland are investigating a service denial attack that targeted the Finnish parliamentary election service last weekend.

The Finnish Police Cyber Center told local media that the events were being investigated as “interference with communications”. The police said it had no clue as of Wednesday where the attack had come from.

Finnish parliamentary election takes place this coming Sunday.

The attack affected the service that reports the election results. Police lieutenant Marko Leponen underlined the counting systems of the election were not impacted.

Arto Jaaskelainen, the national election director, told national broadcaster Yle that the attack had been noticed by the state communication center Valtori. It took place early morning last Sunday. Jaaskelainen said the attack was “weak”.

In Finland, voting is based exclusively on paper ballots only and there are no electronic voting machines. Each voter fills in the number of the chosen candidate.

The ballots are counted by hand. Despite the manual counting, election results are available usually within two or three hours from the closing at eight.

Despite suggestions, Finland has not started any internet voting that could lower the threshold of participation abroad where the next Finnish consulate could be thousands of kilometers away. Advance voting in Finland is offered in post offices, libraries and shopping centers.

From this election, a voting by letter has been allowed for voters abroad. Ministry of Justice said this week 12,000 people out of the 250,000 Finnish citizens abroad had ordered the home postal vote material.

The system was open also to citizens living in Finland but planning to be out of the country on election day.

Advance voting offered in Finland and abroad reached a new record this year as 36.1 percent of the eligible voters participated in the advance voting closed on Tuesday.