When a WWE wrestler, especially one known for his demonic antics and a move called the “tombstone piledriver,” runs for mayor of your county, you know your election is going to get more attention than usual. But in Knox County, Tenn., it wasn’t the fact that Glenn Jacobs, also known to wrestling fans as Kane, was running for mayor that gained national attention on the county primary day, May 1. It was that the county’s election website, at the time the site was supposed to begin posting election results, came under attack. Malicious cyber actors shut down the county website and broke into the web server, according to county officials and a report done by the cyber security firm Sword and Shield. …”Any web server by definition, is connected to the internet, so it’s directly vulnerable to attacks from the internet,” said Doug Jones, an elections cyber security expert at the University of Iowa.
Articles about voting issues in Tennessee.
Knox County IT director Dick Moran and county IT staff were ready for Election Day and the higher amounts of traffic that would undoubtedly come to the county election commission website with former WWE wrestler, Glenn Jacobs, on the Republican ballot. At 7:50 p.m. Moran instructed the website be checked to make sure the early voting results could be posted when the polls closed 10 minutes later. Everything checked out. Everything was working. Sign Up: Get breaking news headlines in your inbox. Seven minutes after his request, Knox County’s election commission website was attacked and the results, although not impacted by the attack, wouldn’t be displayed until nearly 9 p.m., sowing more chaos into an already energetic and unpredictable night. All of the disruption, it has been determined since, was an effort to distract the county while another, simultaneous attack was happening behind the scenes accessing county information, according to Moran and Deputy IT Director David Ball.
An intentional cyberattack and suspicious activity by foreign computers preceded the crash of a website that was reporting results in a Tennessee county’s primary elections, a cyber-security firm said Friday. The Knox County elections website suffered the attack, and “a suspiciously large number of foreign countries” accessed the site on May 1, according to the report by Sword & Shield Enterprise Security. The firm hired by the county said those actions were among the likely causes of the crash, which also included a large increase in errors and in overall traffic. Officials have said no voting data was affected, but the site was down for an hour after the polls closed – causing confusion among voters – before technicians fixed the problem.
A surge of traffic from 65 foreign countries – including Albania, Taiwan, Ukraine and New Zealand – helped crash the Knox County Election Commission website in a “direct attack,” according to a security firm’s report made public Friday. Such an attack – which struck the night of the May 1 primary as voters, candidates and reporters watched for results – could only have been deliberate, aimed at a specific weak point on the web server, investigators for Sword & Shield Enterprise Security found. Sword & Shield recommended further testing to determine whether such an assault could crash the server again. Knox County Information and Technology Department staffers performed the tests this week and believe they’ve plugged the hole, Deputy IT Director David Ball said. “We essentially re-enacted the attack and believe we have fixed it,” he said.
Investigators found evidence of a “malicious intrusion” into a Tennessee county’s elections website from a computer in Ukraine during a concerted cyberattack, which likely caused the site to crash just as it was reporting vote totals in this month’s primary. Cyber-security experts hired by Knox County to analyze the so-called “denial of service” cyberattack, said Friday that “a suspiciously large number of foreign countries” accessed the site as votes were being reported on May 1. That intense activity was among the likely causes of the crash, according to the report by Sword & Shield Enterprise Security. “Given the circumstantial evidence_especially the simultaneous proven malicious intrusion from a Ukraine IP address_I think it is reasonable to at least hypothesize that it was an intended event,” David Ball, the county’s deputy director of information technology, added in an email to The Associated Press.
Tennessee: A cyberattack knocked a Tennessee county’s election website offline during voting | TechCrunch
After a distributed denial-of-service attack knocked some servers offline during a local election in Tennessee this week, Knox County is working with an outside security contractor to investigate the cause. The attack took the Knox County Election Commission site displaying results of the county mayoral primary offline during Tuesday night voting. The county resorted to distributing printed results during the outage. “Tonight, Our web servers suffered a successful denial of service attack,” Knox County wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night. “Election results were not affected, as our election machines are never connected to the Internet.” The day after the incident, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett reassured voters that the attack did not compromise the vote. Election systems that can go online are far less secure than systems that are not able to connect to the internet.
The shutdown of a county website in Tennessee — which briefly disrupted the display of election-night results in primary races — is under investigation, and occurred as officials around the country fear cyber attacks in this fall’s midterm elections. A server crashed, shutting down the Knox County website just as polls closed Monday night for local government offices, according to a statement from Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. The website was down for about an hour before officials restored it. “Although the crash didn’t affect the vote tallies or the integrity of the election, this is not something that should happen,” Burchett said. “I want to know what happened, and I think an independent review will help to determine that so we can move forward and work to prevent similar issues in the future.”
Officials in Knox County, Tennessee, are trying to gather more information about a cyberattack that crashed a government website that displayed election results to the public during its primary election for local offices on Tuesday. Dick Moran, the county’s top IT official, believes Knox County was the target of a denial-of-service attack in which actors with both domestic and foreign IP addresses deliberately flooded the county’s servers with traffic to try and crash them. The county website displaying election results went down for about an hour as polls closed on Tuesday. The crash meant that people who went to check election results between 8 and 9 p.m. on election night received an error message, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. While the website was down, election officials printed out hard copies of the election results and gave them to reporters, WBIR, a local NBC affiliate, reported. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett (R) said on Wednesday that the crash didn’t impact “vote tallies or the integrity of the election,” but that the county had hired a security firm to investigate the cause of the crash.
A local election in Tennessee is dealing with the aftermath of a cyberattack, and the county’s mayor is calling for an investigation. On Tuesday night, as polls were closing for Knox County’s primary races for the mayoral election, the county’s website displaying the results crashed. The page was down for about an hour starting around 8 p.m. before officials were able to restore it, according to the county’s Election Commission. … The primary election continued, with the county announcing that Glenn Jacobs, also known as WWE wrestler Kane, had won the GOP nomination by 17 votes. The attack did not affect votes because the county’s voting machines are not connected online, an election official told WBIR.
Officials are investigating a cyberattack that crashed the website displaying Knox County election results Tuesday night. Additionally, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett on Wednesday said he has called for a cyber-security contractor to look into the server crash that shut down the county’s website just as polls closed on election night, according to a news release. … Sword & Shield Enterprise Security, a Knox County-based IT security firm, will conduct a root-cause analysis to determine the exact nature of the County server’s shut down, beginning today, the release said. IT Director Richard “Dick” Moran wrote that a preliminary review “noted that extremely heavy and abnormal network traffic was originating from numerous IP addresses associated with numerous geographic locations, both internal and external to this country. Based on my experience, this was highly suggestive of a (denial of service) attack.