Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox offered a positive message Tuesday speaking about election security issues — even amid unprecedented levels of hacking attempts, voters can cast their upcoming midterm ballot in confidence that it will be duly and fairly tallied. “We would encourage Utah voters to know that we’re on the front lines fighting this battle for you,” Cox said. “Know that this election is secure and you can be sure that your vote will count.” Cox, whose oversight of state elections is part of his duties as lieutenant governor, outlined the millions in new state funding and federal assistance that’s been dedicated to beefing up security measures for this election cycle, including the latest in voting machine technology, upgrades to the voter registration database protections and partnerships that have helped bolster the state’s digital resilience to those who would seek to infiltrate and disrupt the election process.
In the run-up to the primaries this summer, state digital security experts were monitoring traffic that rose as high as 1 billion daily attempts at nefarious activities, though not all of that traffic was actual “hacking” attempts.
Utah Chief Information Security Officer Phil Bates told the Desert News in July that the 1 billion daily incidents his team was blocking were not all attempts to enter the state’s systems.
“The vast majority of this is reconnaissance and surveillance traffic,” Bates said at the time. “They are attempts to try to identify assets in our network. Some of it is just port scans, but some is more complex than that.”