Three state election agencies have confirmed cyber attacks linked to Department of Homeland Security IP addresses, according to reports from WSB-TV in Atlanta. According to the report, agencies in Georgia, West Virginia, and Kentucky have all reported numerous attacks on their networks which were subsequently traced back to DHS addresses.
The news was originally broken by WSB-TV’s Aaron Diamant:
— Aaron Diamant (@AaronDiamantWSB) December 15, 2016
In an exclusive interview, [Georgia] Secretary of State Brian Kemp confirmed the attacks of different levels on his agency’s network over the last 10 months. He said they all traced back to DHS internet provider addresses.
“We’re being told something that they think they have it figured out, yet nobody’s really showed us how this happened,” Kemp said. “We need to know.”
The Secretary of State’s Office manages Georgia’s elections, and most concerning for Kemp about the newly discovered scans is the timing.
The first one happened on Feb. 2, the day after Georgia’s voter registration deadline. The next one took place just days before the SEC primary. Another occurred in May, the day before the general primary, and then two more took place in November, the day before and the day of the presidential election.
“It makes you wonder if somebody was trying to prove a point,” Kemp said.
According to Secretary Kemp, Georgia’s network firewall held up and the data was never breached.
While Georgia Secretary of State Kemp has questioned the DHS, he claims he is not satisfied with their answers. Kemp claims that the department’s explanation for the source of the attacks keeps changing.
“First, it was an employee in Corpus Christi, and now, it’s a contractor in Georgia,” Kemp told WSB-TV.
Kemp has fired off a letter to the incoming Trump administration to investigate the source of the attacks.
Of course, the reports are not definitive proof that the Department of Homeland Security is the actual source of the attacks. Hackers occasionally hide their identities by using false IP addresses: a method called spoofing.