Threat Management

Bots adding signatures to U.K. petition calling for a second Brexit referendum

A U.K. parliament online petition calling for a second EU referendum to be held has evidently had thousands of signatures added by bots.

The BBC is reporting that 77,000 signatures have so far been removed – with many of those associated with people from Vatican City, North Korea and Antarctica. The online petition site uses a 4chan bulletin board which does not use a captcha or other tool to differentiate between people and bots.

"I voted 33,000 times. Left a script running while I was taking a shower," wrote one member, the BBC reported.

Ben Herzberg, security group research manager at Imperva, told in an email that automated attacks are often used in polls to inflate results.

The online petition is calling for another referendum to decide whether the U.K. should leave the EU. So far it has gathered 3.6 million signatures, but these are being investigated for their validity.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.