Georgia Government Cleared in Hacking Attempts by DHS
In the latest news of election hacking, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inspector general has completed a report that stated that there was no malicious intent in 2016 when Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp reported that someone at the DHS attempted to cyber-breach the firewall at the Georgia Secretary of State’s department.
The Conservative Firing Line reported in December 2016 that the attack originated out of the DHS office based on the DHS IP address.
The finding came after Georgia U.S. Rep. Jody Hice and Utah U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested an independent review of the incident.
Hice and Chaffetz, who will be leaving Congress on Friday, made the request after Kemp said the agency had not been completely forthcoming about what happened.
Kemp said in December that security scans had found several attempted intrusions that the state’s cyber-security experts flagged as suspicious. Homeland Security officials at the time said a federal contractor based in Georgia used an agency computer to do routine background checks of job applicants.
“Last year, the firewall protecting Georgia’s voter registration database was targeted by an IP address associated with the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Following its detection, I demanded answers from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, but I was ignored. After other states detected and reported similar issues, Secretary Johnson attempted to explain the situation away, but I was unsatisfied with his un-forthcoming explanation and asked President-Elect Trump to investigate the matter after his inauguration. He immediately obliged.
“Earlier today, I personally spoke with current DHS Secretary John Kelly and learned that the investigation is now complete. DHS did not knowingly attempt to breach Georgia’s firewall or hack our systems. Federal officials were able to recreate the event, and they have promised to provide a detailed report for my review.
“While I am disappointed that it took a new administration to investigate this highly important incident, I am pleased to learn this information and relieved that our federal government is not trying to interfere with elections in our state or others involved in this situation.
“I am grateful for President Trump’s leadership on this matter, and we appreciate Secretary Kelly’s and the Inspector General’s efforts. With the investigation now complete, we will continue to work diligently to ensure that elections in Georgia remain secure, accessible, and fair.”
When the attack occurred, in which the Georgia Secretary of State’s office manages the state’s voter registration, elections data plus corporate and professional license records, Kemp was “angry as hell” that the IP address originated from the DHS office.
“It’s outrageous to think about our own federal government is doing this to us,” Kemp told Diamant of WSBTV.
“We’re demanding answers to some of these questions, you know? Are they doing this to other states? Was it authorized or not? Who ordered this? Why is it being done and why weren’t we notified?” Kemp said.
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