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6/28/2016
11:28 AM
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Bots Sign Online Petition For Second EU Referendum Post-Brexit

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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Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2016 | 11:04:29 AM
Re: "...scripts to automatically sign petition"
" ... other sites not based on set user profiles ..."

They can easily fake user profiles too. Everybody has many names and emails in the web. I know a few of my friends do that :--))
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2016 | 10:59:56 AM
Re: Not surprised
"... It also seems ridiculous to call another referendum though ..."

I agree. You can not really argue for a second one just because you did not get it. Where does it end?
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2016 | 10:58:00 AM
Re: "...scripts to automatically sign petition"
" ... Was there authentication for this site? ..."

Good question. If not, I think it can easily be done. Automating something on the web is is easy unless site uses some type of prevention technique.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2016 | 10:55:45 AM
Brexit
It makes sense. If somebody thinks that online petitions are accurate, that would be crazy. Of course there will be duplicates and submissions from other unrelated places unless you check it against your country's citizens which will most likely be not legal.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
6/29/2016 | 8:03:00 AM
Not surprised
I'm not surprised and unfortunately this is the reason online petitions serve such little purpose. Nobody believes the popular ones are legitimate and the sheer number of them mean most are lost in the scuffle. 

It also seems ridiculous to call another referendum though. While I was a remain voter, the idea of calling another simply because it wasn't the result you wanted is silly.
RyanSepe
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RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2016 | 1:26:57 PM
"...scripts to automatically sign petition"
Was there authentication for this site? What I am trying to figure out is if potential scripting of signatures is an inherent flaw of sites such as this, or have other sites not based on set user profiles have implemented methods of mitigating this possiblity.
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