election security

November 15, 2016 – Georgia says someone in U.S. government tried to hack state’s computers housing voter data

Georgians vote during the 2016 elections on Nov. 8. (Credit: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

“The secretary of state of Georgia is asking the Department of Homeland Security to explain what appears to be an attempted breach of the state’s computer systems that house its voter registration database by someone in the federal government.

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson dated Thursday, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp said the state had discovered an unsuccessful attempt to breach the firewall of state computer systems. The attempt occurred on Nov. 15 and was linked to an IP address associated with DHS, he said.

“We are looking into the matter. DHS takes the trust of our public and private sector partners seriously, and we will respond to Secretary Kemp directly,” a spokeswoman for DHS said.

“At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network,” wrote Mr. Kemp, a Republican. “Moreover, your department has not contacted my office since this unsuccessful incident to alert us of any security event that would require testing or scanning of our network.”

The alleged attempted intrusion by the federal government on a state computer system responsible for election security was detected by a third-party security firm working for the state of Georgia. The attempt was unsuccessful, according to the state. The computers also house information about company incorporations.” (Read more: The Wall Street Journal, 12/08/2016)