Georgia: Feds Tried to Hack Our Election Systems
As Sen. Lindsey Graham vows to lead a congressional investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, Georgia officials have their eye on tampering a little closer to home. According to state officials, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tried to gain access to Georgia’s voting systems in the week following the presidential election.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp sent a letter to Homeland chief Jeh Johnson this week asking why his agency tried, unsuccessfully, to blast past the state’s firewall software days after Donald Trump was elected president.
“At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network,” Kemp wrote. “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.”
In the letter, Kemp demanded to know if the agency conducted the scan and, if they did, where the authorization came from. Kemp pressed further, asking Johnson if the Georgia attempt was the only one DHS conducted without the permission of state officials. He noted that federal law prohibits anyone from accessing a computer system without permission, even if that someone happens to have the power of the Washington behind them.
DHS spokesman Scott McConnell said the agency was “looking into the matter.”
“DHS takes the trust of our public and private sector partners seriously, and we will respond to Secretary Kemp directly,” McConnell said.
The Associated Press reports that DHS offered to scan each state’s election systems prior to election day; that offer was accepted by almost everyone. In 48 states, DHS ran scans to detect any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. In tandem, federal officials gave advice to those states on how they could shore up their network security to keep hackers at bay.
Two states refused the service, one of them being Georgia.
“They offered to provide these services, we declined it and then we determine they attempted to hack our system,” said David Dove, who is Kemp’s chief of staff.
Yeah, that sounds like the Obama administration, all right.
There’s less than three weeks left in 2016 and only about seven weeks left in Obama’s reign of terror. Don’t get complacent. In one of the craziest election years of all time, we can’t rule anything out. The powers that be are panicking, and we all know how dangerous people can be when they are backed against a wall. Stay vigilant.