Hackers Target Voter Information Databases to Steal Personal Data

November 4, 2016

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Hackers are always getting their hands into sticky situations, but one of the hot topics in world politics–the 2016 United States presidential election–is one of the nastier ones in recent years. In the past few months alone, hackers have reportedly breached not only the Democratic National Committee, but have also infiltrated at least two state election databases.

The two databases in question housed the voter registration information for the states of Illinois and Arizona. In regards to Illinois, personal data for 200,000 voters was stolen over the course of 10 days. The Arizona attack was unsuccessful, and no voter data was stolen. What’s unclear is whether or not these hacking attacks are connected to the recent influx of hacking attacks against political groups.

As reported by CIO: “According to the FBI’s alert, ‘an unknown actor’ attacked a state election database by using widely available penetration testing tools, including Acunetix, SQLMap, and DirBuster. The hackers then found an SQL injection vulnerability — a common attack point in websites — and exploited it to steal the data. The FBI has traced the attacks to eight IP addresses, which appear to be hosted from companies based in Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Russia.”

This election season is proving to be quite the center of controversy, as there have been claims of election fraud pouring in from all over the United States. There have been reports of supposed “voter fraud,” in which voters had their registrations altered prior to their state primary elections. However, with the hack of the DNC, there are hushed whispers and many outspoken “professionals” on social media that hackers may influence this year’s presidential election. In fact, the United States has recently pointed the finger at Russia as the perpetrator of the DNC hack.

However, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a statement regarding these fears: Homeland Security was not aware of “specific or credible cybersecurity threats” that could affect the election. Yet, these reassurances do little to mitigate the fact that these systems were infiltrated and accessed.

These events just go to show that even big targets don’t have the systems put into place to protect their infrastructures from cyber threats. If major political entities and systems that could assist with determining the future of an entire country can fall victim to a cyber attack, what does that say about your business’s infrastructure? What we’re saying shouldn’t be news; even the smallest targets hold information that could potentially be very valuable to any hacker.

To learn how you can protect your small business from hackers of all shapes and sizes, reach out to us at (610) 828- 5500.


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