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EC rubbishes London hacker's claims on EVMs

EC rubbishes London hackers claims on EVMs
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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission Monday dismissed the allegations made by a London-based hacker, who said he could hack the electronic voting machines used in India. The controversial, unsubstantiated claims of the hacker - made during a so-called hackathon this evening - comes amid a renewed focus on EVMs by the united opposition, which has formed a committee to spearhead the campaign for their removal and a return to ballot papers.

In a statement later, the Election Commission called it a "motivated slugfest" and said they would explore "what legal action can and should be taken in the matter". The Commission said it "firmly stands by the empirical facts about the foolproof nature of ECI EVMs deployed in elections in India".

The hacker, who identified himself as Syed Shuja, said Indian EVMs are "standalone devices", which cannot be hacked remotely. They contain old chips manufactured when there was no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology. So while it was not possible to hack individual machines, with their algorithm, it was possible to tweak the machines, he claimed.

The controversial, unsubstantiated claims of the hacker come amid a renewed focus on EVMs by the united opposition.

"All you needed was a machine which could transmit at very low frequencies... we acquired a graphite-based transmitter," he added.

The unsubstantiated claims of the hacker are expected to turn up the opposition pitch for the removal of EVMs. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal was present at the event where the hacker made his claims. At the programme, which was broadcast live on Facebook, the hacker also made some unsubstantiated political claims.

In a series of tweets, Union minister Arun Jaitley, who is in the US for a routine medical check-up, ripped into the Congress.

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