Attacking and Fixing Helios: An Analysis of Ballot Secrecy

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Executive Summary

Helios 2.0 is an open-source web-based end-to-end verifiable electronic voting system, suitable for use in low-coercion environments. In this paper, the authors analyse ballot secrecy and discover a vulnerability which allows an adversary to compromise the privacy of voters. This vulnerability has been successfully exploited to break privacy in a mock election using the current Helios implementation. Moreover, the feasibility of an attack is considered in the context of French legislative elections and, based upon the findings, they believe it constitutes a real threat to ballot secrecy in such settings.

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