Monday, 05 November 2018

Georgia Secretary of State Investigates Democratic Party After Failed Cyberattack

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The Georgia Secretary of State’s office (SOS) opened an investigation into the Democratic Party of Georgia on the evening of Saturday, November 3, in response to a failed attempt to hack the state’s voter-registration system, noted a statement posted on the SOS website.

The Secretary of State’s Office issued the following update afterwards:

We opened an investigation into the Democratic Party of Georgia after receiving information from our legal team about failed efforts to breach the online voter registration system and My Voter Page. We are working with our private sector vendors and investigators to review data logs. We have contacted our federal partners and formally requested the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate these possible cyber crimes. The Secretary of State's office will release more information as it becomes available.

Georgia’s Secretary of State is Brian Kemp, who also is the Republican candidate for governor. Kemp cited unusual activity on the state’s “My Voter Page,” which provides residents information about their registration status and voting locations. He attributed the attempted hacking to Democrats.

On October 26, Newsweek reported that Kemp’s opponent in the gubernatorial contest, Stacey Abrams, who is minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, had accused Kemp of deliberately keeping potential voters away from the polls in order to help his candidacy.

The report noted that the NAACP had filed a complaint with the Georgia State Board of Elections this week claiming that voters in multiple counties had notified them of defective polling machines. Newsweek cited reporting from "The Root" (described as “an Afrocentric online magazine”) that in some instances votes were being changed from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (who is black) to Kemp (who is white).

“We’ve seen issues across the state of Georgia,” Khyla D. Craine, the NAACP’s assistant general counsel, told The Root. “It’s not something that’s new, unfortunately. These machines are old, but it’s incumbent upon the people running the election to ensure that machines are fully functional.”

Craine did not explain how a malfunctioning machine would only malfunction based on the race or political party of the voters.

President Trump and Vice President Pence have traveled to Georgia to campaign for Kemp. Former President Barack Obama and celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Will Ferrell are among those who have campaigned for Abrams. 


Related article:

Georgia Sec. of State Asks Trump to Investigate DHS Attacks on State Computer System

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