Ohio Election Day Cyberattack Attempt Traced to Panama
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Secretary of State’s office was the subject of a thwarted foreign cyberattack on Election Day.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Tuesday that the so-called “SQL injection” attack was detected by the state’s internal systems. The attack was attempting to insert malicious code into his office’s website.
The attempted hack originated in Panama and was traced to a Russian-owned company, he said, but was “relatively unsophisticated.”
“Some of these unsophisticated attacks are ways that they probe for vulnerabilities. They are poking around for soft spots,” LaRose said, noting that the cyberattack was looking for vulnerabilities in his office’s website.
Similar attacks are designed to disrupt and undermine the credibility of elections, LaRose said, but they cannot affect the state’s election results. Neither the elections machines used around Ohio nor the ballot counters are ever connected to the Internet.
LaRose credited the state’s “Albert” intrusion system, a digital burglar alarm, for alerting it to the attempted attack.
“The good guys won that day and the bad guys lost,” he said.
Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections must adopt similar software provided by the state as part of a 34-point election security checklist LaRose required under a directive issued earlier this year.
A new bill recently signed into law also will allow him to hire a chief information security officer to oversee protection of information services and create the Ohio Cyber Reserve, a volunteer force of technology professionals who will respond to incidents with a goal of restoring systems as quickly as possible.
The cyber reserve will operate under the Ohio National Guard and is recruiting members.
©2019 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
WASHINGTON - The story is a familiar one if you've been reading or talking about battleground and swing states this election cycle. Thanks to a combination of Donald Trump’s razor-thin wins and Hillary Clinton's narrow losses in 2016, and the changing demographics of state electorates, a... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Speaking before the U.S. Conference of Mayors Wednesday, former New York City mayor and current Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg promised local leaders will always have "a seat at the table" if he is elected president. Particularly when it comes to deciding how and... Read More
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court removed legal barriers to sports betting, California voters could be asked in November to join 14 other states in allowing legal wagers on athletic contests, creating a lucrative industry worth billions of dollars and intense competition... Read More
CHICAGO — Since recreational weed went on sale in Illinois three weeks ago, long lines have formed outside dispensaries, stores have established buying limits, and some have run out of product. All that was expected, based on what’s happened as other states legalized cannabis. But there’s... Read More
The U.S. Supreme Court will review a Philadelphia federal judge’s decision last year to block new Trump administration rules that would have let almost any employer deny female workers no-cost birth control coverage by citing religious and moral objections. In an order late Friday, the justices... Read More
RICHMOND, Va — Thousands of mostly white men — many decked out in camouflage and armed with assault-style rifles — packed Richmond’s streets Monday, circling the gun-free Capitol Square, where thousands more waved signs and listened to speeches, all wanting to make one point: They weren’t... Read More