FBI probes breach across state election boards
The United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that it was investigating a data breach across two state election systems. The FBI issued an alert from its Cyber Division on the security breach, after evidence was found that foreign hackers had infiltrated its election systems. Officials suspect that the hackers have gained access to voter databases across the states of Illinois and Arizona.
Illinois' state election system hacked
The state of Illinois was found to have massive personal data stolen by the hackers last month. It was reported that officials shut down the state's election systems that registered voters, for nearly ten days after the data breach. After the cyber intrusion, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson offered assistance in securing the voting systems against cyber threats.
Arizona state election systems attacked
Apart from Illinois, Arizona's state election systems were also attacked, but on a far smaller scale. The attack was less malicious, and involved introducing harmful software into the voter registration systems, but no data was stolen. The FBI probe has uncovered nearly eight IP addresses, with one IP address present in both the attacks, and are investigating if the attacks are linked.
FBI looking at possible data breach across other states
"The FBI is requesting that states contact their Board of Elections and determine if any similar activity to their logs, both inbound and outbound, has been detected. Attempts should not be made to touch or ping the IP addresses directly," the FBI said.
FBI suspects Russian hackers of data breach
The FBI officials suspect the data breach to have been facilitated by Russian state-sponsored hackers. It was suspected that the hackers would want to disrupt the upcoming November elections in the United States. Experts state that if another government obtains access to voter information and registration data, the infiltration would prompt concerns to arise on the legitimacy of the U.S. elections.
Election numbers at stake with data hacking
"I am less concerned about the attackers getting access to and downloading the information. I'm more concerned about the information being altered, modified or deleted. That's where the real potential is for any sort of meddling in the election."- Brian Kalkin, Center for Internet Security.