Petition website appears to be hijacked by automated bots, thousands of signatures fake, says Parliamentary panel.
An online petition seeking a second EU referendum post-Brexit is being investigated for fraud after it amassed more than three million signatures — many of which appear to be phony, BBC News reports. The House of Commons petition panel has already discarded 77,000 signatures found to be fake.
Thousands of signatures came from unlikely destinations like the Vatican City, Antarctica, North Korea, and the South Sandwich Islands, says the Parliamentary petitions committee. Many of these may have been added by automated bots in the absence of a bot-filtering mechanism on the petition website.
“It seems like a huge oversight for a website designed to be used by so many people to lack simple protection,” said Rik Ferguson of computer security firm Trend Micro.
The House of Commons petition committee says it is continuing to monitor the website.
Read more on BBC News.
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