Switzerland’s national postal organization Swiss Post is offering bug bounty rewards of up to €230,000 (roughly $271,000) for critical vulnerabilities identified in a future digital voting system.
The country introduced e-voting in 2003 on a limited basis, as part of ongoing tests, and earlier this year it disclosed the future Swiss e-voting system, in phases, to be able to implement any necessary improvements.
The e-voting system is expected to deliver not only transparency, but also reliability, voting secrecy, and verifiability, while meeting high requirements for security. Before being approved for real votes, the system must go through various types of testing and simulated hacker attacks.
Swiss Post has partnered with France-based bug bounty platform YesWeHack to launch a bug bounty program in which over 800 global security researchers could hunt for vulnerabilities in the e-voting system. Now, the organization says it is willing to pay “a relatively high reward of up to 230,000 Euros for confirmed critical vulnerabilities in e-voting.”
The bounty rewards are in line with industry norm, but are much higher than other payouts offered by Swiss Post, which reflects the importance of the e-voting system, Marcel Zumbühl, chief information security officer at Swiss Post, pointed out.
“Without exaggerating and considering all aspects of the project, this is the most ambitious, strategic, and ‘sensitive’ public bug bounty program ever launched. This is a strong and bold step forward. With electronic voting, the Swiss direct democracy and traditions of political rights will eventually move into the digital age in confidence,” said Guillaume Vassault-Houlière, the CEO and co-founder of YesWeHack.