The FBI recently released a ‘Flash Alert’ to warn election officials to enhance the security of the election systems and watch out for potential cyber-attacks. Evidence showed two voter registration databases were penetrated in two different US states.
The two breached state election databases belonged to Illinois and Arizona, respectively. The state election offices were forced to turn off the voter registration system for several days. The FBI is still investigating if there is other state falling victim to this attack.
According to the bureau, “The majority of the data exfiltration occurred in mid-July. There were 7 suspicious IPs and several penetration testing tools – Acunetix, SQLMap, and DirBuster – used by the actor.” With one of the IP addresses allegedly appearing in a Russian hacker forum before, this attack is suspected to be linked to Russian state-sponsored hackers.
The White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, said on Monday that the attack is under investigation, and no individual entity or criminal enterprise or government can be confirmed as responsible for the reported hacking at this moment.
The information contained in the voter registration database includes the voter’s name, address and drive license number, etc. Even if the information cannot be used to directly manipulate the U.S Presidential Election results, the analysis of voters may still have influence on the election campaign.
Despite that there was no intrusion in the state voting system reported, FBI still called for more security precautions, as there may be more cyber attacks with only 69 days remaining before the U.S. Presidential Election in November.