Cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab has recognized three universities for their work on blockchain technology out of 19 universities from the United States and the United Kingdom, reports The Economist.
The winning three universities were New York University with a prize amounting to $10,000; University Of Maryland, College Park’s Maryland Cybersecurity Center who won $5,000; and Newcastle University winning $3,000.
New York University proposed ‘the usage of a ‘permissioned blockchain’ configuration, in which a central authority admits voting machines to the network prior to the start of the election, followed by voting machines acting autonomously to build a public, distributed ledger of votes.’
The University of Maryland proposed ‘proposed “a solution rooted in global public keys that encrypt ballots and provide voter receipts using randomly generated numbers.’
Whereas Newcastle University ‘a solution rooted in three protocols: the Open Vote Network, DRE-i and DRE-ip.’
As technology has the potential to shape our lives, it has the potential to produce a positive impact on the things we do and the decisions we make in life.
One of those decisions comes through the form of voting, which can create a lasting impact on a person’s life. In order to ensure that our votes are counted for we need to ensure that the systems we use are up-to-date, tamper-proof, giving a voter the confidence they need.
The challenge for the 19 universities taking part in the 2016 Cybersecurity Case Study Competition was to look at how blockchain-compliant systems can address specific security challenges, such as voter privacy, undecided voters, and voter fraud.
To do this they were asked to provide written and video-based submissions detailing their blockchain proposals.
In a press release, Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said:
The competition was very interesting and I was very impressed with the submissions. The challenges of cybersecurity mean the next generation of experts face a changing frontier — there will be plenty of things to work on and securing digital voting systems for national elections is just one example. If cybercriminals exploited one small vulnerability, it could potentially change the course of a nation’s history, and these young scholars are bringing us one step closer to making secure digital voting a reality.
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