Georgia’s top election official this week accused the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of trying to hack a computer network containing the state’s voter registration database.
Brian Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, demanded information about the alleged intrusion attempt in a letter sent Thursday to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
“On Nov. 15, an IP address associated with the Department of Homeland Security made an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate the Georgia Secretary of State’s firewall. I am writing you to ask whether DHS was aware of this attempt and, if so, why DHS was attempting to breach our firewall,” Mr. Kemp wrote.
“At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network,” he added. “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. This is especially odd and concerning since I serve on the Election Cyber Security Working Group that your office created.”Not having received any satisfactory answer or explanation from Obama's DHS, Sec. Kemp is now asking President-elect Trump to investigate when he takes office:
Kemp said he is not satisfied with the response from current DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.
"Since contacting DHS with these concerns, we have collaborated with the agency and provided extensive, additional information," Kemp wrote. "Last night I received a letter from Secretary Johnson which lacked any specific information as to the attacks' intent or origin despite the fact that many questions remain unanswered." . . .DHS has offered several different, yet unconvincing, reasons for the attempted breach of Georgia's systems, leaving Sec. Kemp to wonder if his opposition to DHS overseeing elections was the reason for the attempted breach:
Kemp, who sits on a DHS-managed election cybersecurity working group, has also been the most vocal critic of the idea of adding elections to DHS’s portfolio of critical infrastructure systems.
“The people of Georgia are very concerned about what exactly happened here, and they are demanding transparent and honest answers,” Kemp told Trump. “It appears that will not happen with the current administration.”We trust that the Trump DHS under Secretary Kelly will take this breach seriously and investigate the source.