[ENnies] ENnies Voting Security

Our Technical Coordinator, Luke Withrow, explains our security process.

We take the security of our votes seriously here at the ENnies, and use several methods to help reduce ballot-stuffing. You’ll note I say ‘reduce’, because there’s no way to absolutely prevent it short of drastic, draconian measures to identify all our voters. Our strategy is to make ballot-stuffing difficult and time-consuming. We also review the results carefully to identify suspicious voting patterns.

The most basic thing we do is restrict you to one vote per IP address. While it’s certainly possible to circumvent this restriction, doing so takes time, effort, and a bit of expertise. Starting this year, we’re implementing code that will prevent most proxy servers from being able to access the voting pages.

We also randomize the order of each ballot. This ensures no one company or product gets an unfair advantage for being at the top of a category. Additionally, it makes the creation of a script or macro a bit more challenging for the would-be hacker.

Once the votes have been collected, we run some analytics against the data. I won’t go into too much detail about what we look for, but suffice it to say we check for patterns in the votes that are statistically unlikely.

In addition to all the technical ways we protect the integrity of the process, we have one final strategy: We ask you to be honorable, and not cast more than one vote. While it’s not a security measure by any means, appealing to your sense of fairness and your loyalty to the gaming community at large certainly has an effect.