Why would the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attempt to breach the firewall of the State of Georgia’s Secretary of State? Georgia declined the DHS offer of cyber security and hired its own expert team, but a majority of States accepted the offer. Was this just an unfortunate mistake or was DHS attempting to teach Georgia a lesson? Either way, DHS has some explaining to do. So far there has been no answer to Georgia’s letter of complaint.
As Written By Greg Ott for Cyberscoop:
Georgia’s secretary of state has claimed the Department of Homeland Security tried to breach his office’s firewall and has issued a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asking for an explanation.
Brian Kemp issued a letter to Johnson on Thursday after the state’s third-party cybersecurity provider detected an IP address from the agency’s Southwest D.C. office trying to penetrate the state’s firewall. According to the letter, the attempt was unsuccessful.
The attempt took place on Nov. 15, a few days after the presidential election. The office of the Georgia Secretary of State is responsible for overseeing the state’s elections.
“At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network,” Kemp wrote in the letter, which was also sent to the state’s federal representatives and senators. “Moreover, your department has not contacted my office since this unsuccessful incident to alert us of any security event that would require testing or scanning of our network. This is especially odd and concerning since I serve on the Election Cyber Security Working Group that your office created.”
“The Department of Homeland Security has received Secretary Kemp’s letter,” a DHS spokesperson told CyberScoop. “We are looking into the …