Georgia’s secretary of state, Brian Kemp, revealed that voter registration database was targeted by hackers with IP address linked to the DHS.

While President Barack Obama has ordered US intelligence agencies to deeper investigate the alleged Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential Election, Georgia announced it’s traced an attempted breach of the state’s voter registration database to the DHS.

The Georgia’s secretary of state, Brian Kemp, revealed that the voter registration database was targeted by hackers with IP address linked to the DHS.

The news is disconcerting as curious. Why IP addresses belonging to the DHS are involved in this cyber attack?

The first hypothesis sees a group of hacked systems at DHS that were used by a threat actor to access voter registration database. This means that hackers breached the systems of the US Government and are using them to move laterally and steal sensitive information.

In November 2014 the State Department has taken the unprecedented step of shutting down its entire unclassified email system in response to a suspected cyber attack.

‘Activity of concern’ was detected in the system concurrently with another cyber attack which hit the network at the White House computer network. A State Department staffer answering a call to the State Department Operations Center revealed that, as a precautionary measure, the e-mail system remained down.

In the same period, other US agencies were targeted by hackers, including the U.S. Postal Service and the National Weather Service, the U.S. Military confirmed that its systems were secured, according to official sources, none of the State Department’s classified systems were affected.

These are just a few examples of attacks that hit the US Government.

A second hypothesis sees someone in the US intelligence that is conducting a covert operation, for example, to build “false flag” for an alleged Russian attack, but sincerely this scenario is implausible. Another possibility is that agents at the DHS were conducting a penetration testing without authorization with the intent to measure the resilience of the Firewall to a cyber attack.

According to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, hackers were blocked by the firewall that protects Georgia’s voter registration database.

“Recently, I was made aware of a failed attempt to breach the firewall that protects Georgia’s voter registration database by an IP address associated with the Department of Homeland Security. On Thursday morning, , I sent a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson demanding to know why.” Georgia’s secretary of state, Brian Kemp wrote on his Facebook page.

The Wall Street Journal who visioned a copy of the letter sent by Mr Kemp, revealed the attempted attack occurred on November 15, just after the presidential election.

implausible. Another possibility is that agents at the DHS were conducting a penetration testing without authorization with the intent to measure the resilience of the Firewall to a cyber attack.

According to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, hackers were blocked by the firewall that protects Georgia’s voter registration database.

“Recently, I was made aware of a failed attempt to breach the firewall that protects Georgia’s voter registration database by an IP address associated with the Department of Homeland Security. On Thursday morning, , I sent a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson demanding to know why.” Georgia’s secretary of state, Brian Kemp wrote on his Facebook page.

The Wall Street Journal who visioned a copy of the letter sent by Mr Kemp, revealed the attempted attack occurred on November 15, just after the presidential election.

“We are looking into the matter. DHS takes the trust of our public and private sector partners seriously, and we will respond to Secretary Kemp directly,” the DHS said in a statement.

“At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network,” Kemp wrote in his letter. “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.”

voter registration database

In response to the attacks the DHS offered a series of services to assess the security of voting systems, including cyber hygiene scans that were specifically designed to find flaws in the systems used during the election.

Anyway Kemp seems to have refused the DHS support

“But Georgia’s top election official is balking at the offers of assistance — and accusing the Obama administration of using exaggerated warnings of cyberthreats to intrude on states’ authority.” states a post published by Politico. “Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s objections add to a bumpy start for the Department of Homeland Security’s attempt to shore up safeguards for the election, during a summer when cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee have called attention to weaknesses across the electoral system.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  US State Department, US Government)

The post Georgia traced an attempted breach of voter registration database to DHS appeared first on Security Affairs.

Source: securityaffairs

President Barack Obama has ordered US intelligence agencies to deeper investigate the alleged Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential Election.

President Barack Obama is going to close his Presidential mandate, in one of the conclusive activities he has ordered intelligence agencies to deeper investigate the alleged Russian interference with the Presidential Election. He ordered a “full review” of cyber attacks against the DNC that attempted to influence the final vote of Americans.

“The President earlier this week instructed the intelligence community to conduct a full review of the pattern of malicious cyber activity related to our presidential election cycle,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz.

The Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco announced that President Obama had “directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review of what happened during the 2016 election process.”

Monaco added the Trump administration would address rapidly growing cyber threats.

The President requested that the full report will be released before the end of his term, in January of 2017.

“Obama has asked the intelligence community to deliver its final report before he leaves office, raising the prospect that agencies may conclude that a foreign power successfully altered the trajectory of the Nov. 8 election just days before Trump’s inauguration.” reported the Politico.com.

“The review will put the spate of hacks — which officials have blamed on Russia — “in a greater context” by framing them against the “malicious cyber activity” that may have occurred around the edges of the 2008 and 2012 president elections, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said during Friday’s briefing.”

“This will be a review that is broad and deep at the same time,” he added.

Obama

Many US politicians urge a response to the Russian Government, just before the 2016 US Presidential Election, the US Vice President Joe Biden during an interview with NBC explained that “message” would be sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the alleged hacking.

It is a historical declaration, for the first time in a diplomatic context, a member of a government invoke a cyber attack as a deterrent measure.

“Vice President Joe Biden told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd on Friday that “we’re sending a message” to Putin and that “it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.” reported the NBCnews.

“When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, “Hope not.“”

Recently, at a Heritage Foundation event, Chairman of House Homeland Security Michael McCaul, also urges a response to the Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

“If we don’t respond and show them that there are consequences,” McCaul said, “the bad behavior will continue… our democracy itself is being targeted.”

Trump has a different opinion of the alleged Russian interference in the Presidential Election:

“I don’t believe they interfered,” Trump told in an interview with Time magazine. “That became a laughing point – not a talking point, a laughing point. Anytime I do something, they say, ‘Oh, Russia interfered.’”

The unique certainly is that the results of this “full review” on pre-election hacking could have a serious impact also on the US internal affairs.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – 2016 Presidential Election, President Obama)

The post President Obama orders full review of alleged Russian hacking in US Election appeared first on Security Affairs.

Source: securityaffairs