Below are some brief notes regarding the Alabama and Alaska voting systems related to issues potentially attributable to vote/election hacking. This is part of a continuing series on the subject.
Alabama Actions on Hacking Attempts
On September 1, 2016 WHNT News ran a story explaining that Alabama took action on the FBI Flash letter sent regarding suspected election hacking of Arizona and Illinois voting systems, later traced to known Russian hacking incidents.
(FBI Flash Alert)
(Election System Vendor Letter to Alabama Secretary of State Office)
The Electronic Systems & Software (ES&S) letter is significant because it is a letter from the vendor of many state election systems recognizing the FBI’s letter, that there had been hacking and scanning in other states. ES&S claimed there were no breaches or attempts of Alabama’s system from the IP addresses sent out in the FBI Alert. However, in a story ran on October 19, 2016, the Secretary of State reported multiple suspicious attempts to access the election systems later.
Alabama Secretary of State Travels to Russia
On September 13, 2016, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill traveled to Russia to observe an election for parliament. Merrill explained that he expected to implement some “lessons learned from Russia.”
I was thankful to have been selected for this unbelievable experience. The final view is the one from my hotel room in Moscow as we departed pic.twitter.com/Da9rW4zkM7
— John Merrill (@JohnHMerrill) September 22, 2016
There is no noteworthy causal connection between Merrill’s visit to Russia and election systems problems in the state.
Refusal of Help from DHS
On October 28, 2016, CBS News story reported that Alabama refused help from the Department of Homeland Security to secure its election systems from hacking.On November 8, 2016, election day, there were multiple reports of malfunctioning voting machines.
On November 8, 2016, Election Day, the hacker CyberZeist claimed to have penetrated the Alaska’s election results. The hacker apparently had access to the administration section and cited that they were using outdated code.
— CyberZeist (@cyberzeist2) December 27, 2016
Alaska’s election system software is provided by a private contractor. The software is termed Global Election Management System is managed by Election Systems and Software who manages election systems throughout the country.
More to come…