Frustrations are mounting more than a week after a breach of the Oregon secretary of state’s website caused elections and business databases to go offline. State officials say they’re still investigating how the intrusion from a foreign entity occurred and don’t know when the databases will return. The attack “appears to be an orchestrated intrusion from a foreign entity and not the result of any employee activities,” the agency reported on its website this week. The department’s Central Business Registry and ORESTAR, the state’s online campaign finance reporting system, were temporarily taken offline as a precaution after officials detected “an intrusion” around Feb. 4. Since then, business attorneys haven’t been able to look up existing business names, and campaign finance officials have not been able to report transactions.
The outage could lead to missed deadlines and increased costs for businesses as attorneys spend extra time filing documents, said Shawn Lindsay, a business attorney and a Republican former state representative.
“I’ve tried calling Thursday, Friday and Monday,” Lindsay said. On Monday “I was on hold for 30 minutes, and I never got through.”
The breach also raises questions about the security of the agency’s other databases, including the voters database, which contains personal information that isn’t publicly available, Lindsay said.