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Hungary: The national consultation web-site hacked

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hungary – On a Facebook video published on 28 July, Csaba Dömötör announced that some 400,000 people had answered questions of the latest national consultation on subjects such as the increase of the minimum wage, family tax returns and the law governing the protection of minors. Mr. Dömötör also took the opportunity to chastise

“those that try to attack and obstruct the consultation in different ways.”

whilst adding that such actions gave “another reason why as many people as possible should give their opinion. It is an important opportunity to debate…

The government lodges a complaint

As a matter of fact, the Hungarian government confirmed that it had lodged a complaint on Monday 26 July against the “hackers” that had attacked the national consultation web-site. One of those hackers, who goes by the name of “Gergely Tomanovics”, published a 12-hour video on YouTube where he explains how to use a software programme, which he calls “NERbot 2.0”, and a source code which will fill in 3.100 questionnaires in a random manner. When the hacker was invited onto Klubrádió radio station, he stated that “the robot was more stupid than the average Fidesz vote” and that

“the answers given were not a reflection of the developer’s own position. The sole aim of NERbot was to highlight the level of the government’s IT”

and that the online interface needed reCAPTCHA, an IT tool designed to block robots from accessing the web-site.

Unacceptable actions

The Hungarian authorities have roundly condemned these actions:

“We find it unacceptable that certain individuals have tried, by various means, to make it impossible to debate about what life will be like after the pandemic.

Subjects such as the rise of the minimum wage, family tax returns, the freeze on credits or the protection of children are issues that affect millions of Hungarians. That is why we encourage everyone to give their opinion.

Last September, another national consultation was also the target of a NERbot software attack.