The leader of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants a fuller accounting from the Department of Homeland Security about complaints of the agency “rattling of doorknobs” on the state of Georgia’s network firewall. Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sent letters on Jan. 11 to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and DHS Inspector General John Roth asking about “unauthorized scans” and “unsuccessful attempts to penetrate” the Georgia Secretary of State’s firewall from last February into November’s election season. The letters to Roth and Johnson were released publicly on Jan. 17. The correspondence was spurred by Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s repeated letters to DHS asking the agency to provide more information on what he said were attempts to penetrate his agency’s firewall from “a DHS-registered IP address.” He said the attempts dated back to last February.
Kemp has been a vocal opponent of making state election infrastructure federally defended “critical infrastructure” in the wake of the hacking of election databases by Russia.
In the run-up to the November election, DHS was increasingly concerned about those hackers penetrating state-run election systems. Many states were asking DHS for help to block hacking attempts. That help included the agency’s network scanning capabilities.
At about the same time, Kemp became particularly vocal about his opposition to adding state-run election systems to DHS’ list of 15 critical infrastructure systems.
Full Article: House panel probes DHS scans of state election tech — FCW.