A long-awaited report by Brazil's armed forces on the security of the country's electronic voting system did not mention any specific problems with last month's vote, but said there were vulnerabilities in the code that could potentially be exploited.
The report is the fruit of efforts by President Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right former army captain who lost his re-election bid to leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, to get the military to identify problems with a voting system that he alleges - without proof - is liable to fraud.
The military's findings may provide fodder for a small but committed protest movement among Bolsonaro's supporters who refuse to accept Lula's Oct. 30 victory and have asked the armed forces to intervene.
Lula, a former president who takes office again on Jan. 1, told journalists on Wednesday that the protesters had no reason to question the result of the election, saying those funding the protests should be investigated.
In a letter to Alexandre de Moraes, a Supreme Court justice who heads Brazil's top electoral authority (TSE), Defense Minister Paulo Nogueira did not cite any specific problems found in the military audit of the vote.
But he wrote that voting machines' "connection to the internet, during the compilation of the source code and consequent generation of programs, may configure a relevant risk to the security of the process."
He added that "from the functionality tests ... it is not possible to say that the electronic voting system is free from the influence of any malicious code that could alter its functioning."
To resolve the two problems he mentioned, he suggested the TSE consider creating a specialized commission to comb through the election results for any sign of issues flagged in the military report.
Bolsonaro's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Ricardo Brito in Brasilia and Gabriel Stargardter in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Brad Haynes and William Mallard)