Twenty-one states. Remember that number, friends.
The noose must be getting tighter around the necks of the leftist bureaucrats in the Deep State. What makes me think that? Well, just within the past 24 hours — in an apparent reaction to the release of the FISA and Nunes memos — paid DHS cyber-security chief and toady extraordinaire Jeanette Manfra announced that DHS has evidence that Russia “successfully penetrated” the voter rolls in twenty-one US states prior to the 2016 election.
DHS cyber chief: Russia ‘successfully penetrated’ some state voter rolls
7 February 2018: Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), told NBC News that Russia targeted 21 states and “an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.”
DHS previously notified the 21 states that Russia had attempted to hack their elections systems before the 2016 election.
It was Manfra who first revealed to the Senate Intelligence Committee last June that the states had their systems targeted by Russian hackers ahead of the election.
It was previously known that voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois were breached by hackers. Alabama, California, Colorado, Wisconsin and Florida are among the other states that have confirmed they were targeted.
Officials told NBC there is no evidence any of the voter rolls were altered in any way.
Homeland Security formally notified election officials in the states that were targeted. Officials said then that most of the targeting amounted to mere preparations for hacking, such as probing for vulnerabilities.
The targeting was part of a broader effort by Moscow to meddle in the presidential election, according to the U.S. intelligence community. The systems targeted were not involved in vote tallying.
The revelations have sparked widespread fears that Russia or another foreign actor could seek to interfere in future elections using cyberattacks and other tactics.
But Manfra told The Hill in a recent interview that, while she is unaware of any credible targeting efforts related to the 2018 midterm elections, she remains worried about the threat.
“I will always be worried about it and it is always something that entities are going to look to influence our democratic processes,” she said. “As a country, we should be in a position to counter that.”
The department is providing vulnerability tests and other services to states looking to shore up the cybersecurity of their election systems ahead of future votes, as part of its new designation of voting systems as critical infrastructure.
Homeland Security is also working with state election officials to share information on cyber threats.
But wait … Then-President Obama authorized the very same DHS to “test” the hackability of twenty-one US states’ voter rolls and balloting systems prior to the 2016 election. And among others, the Secretary of State of the great state of Georgia was pissed off when he learned about it:
Georgia Confirms Homeland Security Attempted To Hack Election Database 10 Separate Times by Tyler Durden 14 December 2016
Last week we noted a letter from Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, to the Department of Homeland Security questioning why someone with a DHS IP address (184.108.40.206) had attempted to hack into his state’s election database on November 15, 2016 at 8:43AM. Now, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta, we learn that Georgia’s election systems were actually the target of hacking by DHS on 10 separate occasions.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office now confirms 10 separate cyberattacks on its network were all traced back to U.S. Department of Homeland Security addresses.
In an exclusive interview, a visibly frustrated Secretary of State Brian Kemp confirmed the attacks of different levels on his agency’s network over the last 10 months. He says they all traced back to DHS internet provider addresses.
“We’re being told something that they think they have it figured out, yet nobody’s really showed us how this happened,” Kemp said. “We need to know.”
Kemp told Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant his office’s cybersecurity vendor discovered the additional so-called vulnerability scans to his network’s firewall after a massive mid-November cyberattack triggered an internal investigation.
Meanwhile, Kemp pointed out that all of the attempted hackings occurred around critical registration and voting deadlines calling into question whether “somebody was trying to prove a point.”
The Secretary of State’s Office manages Georgia’s elections, and most concerning for Kemp about the newly discovered scans is the timing.
The first one happened on Feb. 2, the day after Georgia’s voter registration deadline. The next one took place just days before the SEC primary. Another occurred in May, the day before the general primary, and then two more took place in November, the day before and the day of the presidential election.
“It makes you wonder if somebody was trying to prove a point,” Kemp said.
Of course, the Obama administration, a pillar of “transparency” for sure, has confirmed the attacks originated at the DHS but has refused to provide a straight story on why the attempted hackings occurred. Furious with the lack of answers, Kemp has now written a letter to the Trump administration asking for a formal review after his inauguration next month.
Last week, the DHS confirmed the large Nov. 15 attack traced back to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection internet gateway. But Kemp says the DHS’ story about its source keeps changing.
“First it was an employee in Corpus Christi, and now it’s a contractor in Georgia,” Kemp said. Unsatisfied with the response he got from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson this week, Kemp fired off a letter Wednesday to loop in President-elect Donald Trump.
“We just need to ask the new administration to take a look at this and make sure that we get the truth the people of Georgia are deserving to know that and really demanding it,” Kemp said.
Kemp says several of those scans came around the same time he testified before Congress about his opposition to a federal plan to classify election systems as “critical infrastructure,” like power plants and financial systems.
As we’ve said before, despite all the media attention on “Russian hackers,” this cyberattack, originated from within our own Department of Homeland Security, is the only actual confirmed case of hacking related to the 2016 election.
Here is what Zero Hedge wrote the preceding week after the initial hacking was discovered.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is anxiously wondering, as are we, why someone with a Department Of Homeland Security IP address would try to hack into his State’s voter registration database. Even though DHS offered cyber security help to states prior to the election, the Wall Street Journal notes that Georgia was one of the states that specifically denied assistance.
The secretary of state of Georgia is asking the Department of Homeland Security to explain what appears to be an attempted breach of the state’s voter registration database by someone in the federal government.
In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson dated Thursday, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp said the state had discovered an unsuccessful attempt to breach the firewall of state computer systems. That attempt was linked to an IP address associated with DHS, he said.
“At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network,” wrote Mr. Kemp, a Republican. “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.”
The alleged attempted intrusion by the federal government on a state computer system responsible for election security was detected by a third-party security firm working for the state of Georgia. The attempt was unsuccessful, according to the state. The computers also house information about company incorporations.
According to a letter written by Kemp to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, the attempted intrusion occurred 1 week after the election on November 15, 2016 at 8:43AM and came from an IP address associated with DHS (220.127.116.11).
Meanwhile, the potential hacking followed threats from Jeh Johnson leading up to election day to declare election systems “critical infrastructure” which would have given the federal government more authority over state databases.
The Department of Homeland Security made a major push in advance of November’s elections to help states secure election systems against possible hacking, as fears of foreign interference in the U.S. election process reached a fever pitch in the months leading up to Election Day.
The department also considered declaring election systems “critical infrastructure,” which would have given the federal government additional authority to protect the systems. DHS didn’t take that step, however, as many states expressed concern about additional federal authority over their election systems and said the constitution provided states the right to run their own elections.
As a result of some of the concerns, the department clarified that assistance on election-related security matters was voluntary and encouraged states to take advantage of DHS resources and expertise to help secure state election systems.
“DHS assistance is strictly voluntary and does not entail regulation, binding directives, and is not offered to supersede state and local control over the process,” Mr. Johnson, the DHS chief, said in September.
Twenty-one states … and here are details from the great state of Indiana, where the DHS efforts also set off red alerts. Mike Pence, former Governor and at that time Donald Trump’s nominee for Veep, was particularly critical of Feh Johnson and the entire fed interference scheme:
Obama’s Feds Tried to Hack Indiana’s Election System While Pence Was Governor by Richard Pollock 21 February 2017
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials tried to hack Indiana’s state electoral system with at least 14,800 “scans” or hits between Nov. 1, 2016, to Dec. 16, 2016, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.
The attacks are the second confirmed IT scanning assault by DHS officials against states that resisted then-President Barack Obama’s attempt to increase federal involvement in state and local election systems by designating them as “critical infrastructure” for national security.
Members of the National Association of Secretaries of State voted Saturday at their winter meFormer Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was also Trump’s vice presidential-elect during much of the period covered by the DHS scans of the Indiana system.
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, the incoming president of the association, told TheDCNF Tuesday that, “we know that between November 1 and December 16 we were scanned with about 14,800 scans, nearly 15,000 different times.”
The state’s IT team traced the intruder to a DHS computer’s IP address. The same DHS unit attempted 10 times in 2016 to hack into the Georgia electoral system.
Federal officials are barred under DHS rules from trying to penetrate a state system without the express approval of the state. Neither Georgia nor Indiana approved the DHS scanning attempts.
The DHS inspector general has launched an official investigation into the Georgia breach attempt.
Thomas Vessely, IT director for the Indiana secretary of state, told TheDCNF that “we kindly declined [DHS] assistance because we were very comfortable in the work we were doing in monitoring our election system.”
Lawson said she “always assumed it was because I was the incoming President of the National Association of Secretaries of State and because we declined their assistance.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp told TheDCNF Jan. 24, 2016, he was suspicious because four of the 10 attacks against the Georgia election network occurred as he was about to talk to DHS officials, or coincided with his public testimony opposing the critical infrastructure designation.
“It’s certainly concerning about the dates,” Kemp said.
Kemp hopes the IG can determine if the hacks were timed to intimidate him.
Lawson said despite the scale of the scans, the DHS efforts to attack its election system was unsuccessful. “Our voter registration system was not penetrated.”
She said there was “one slight penetration on an (election) website that was actually old and out of date, so it didn’t go anywhere.”
Governmental deployment of IT technology could be an evolving new tool against political opponents or to impose censorship, according to James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cybersecurity think tank.
“Censorship has always been an issue in the brick-and-mortar world. So, censorship in the digital landscape is simply just transference of methods,” Scott said. “I think within federal agencies it is possible to imagine that there are some overreaching, aggressive managers.”
Indiana officials have not yet asked the DHS IG to look at their state’s situation. “We’re taking the matter under consideration,” Lawson said, adding that “we have sent letters to our congressional folks, our governor, and others to make them aware this happened. I’m very concerned, very concerned.”
A DHS spokesman told TheDCNF that, “we take the trust of our partners in the public and private sectors seriously and will work with them to address any concerns. DHS does not conduct scans of networks or systems without the cooperation and consent of the system owner.”
Marc Lotter, a spokesman for Pence, told TheDCNF his boss personally knew Lawson while in Indiana and had complete confidence in her handling the attacks. “The VP has tremendous faith in the Secretary of State and knows it’s in good hands,” said Marc. He’s sure she will handle it properly,” he said.
So why bring up ancient history about Feh Johnson’s DHS from 2016? Because the modus operandi used by the DHS — at the express direction of The Brown Clown — exactly parallels the pattern of claimed attacks made by Russia. Twenty-one states, hacks into voter rolls and balloting processes, and well-concealed trails … all the same.
And which federal agency has now suddenly broadcast the formerly-secret story about the Russian efforts? Why, the DHS, the very same outfit who was behind the domestic attacks on US states. I may be speaking through my tin-foil hat, but I find this more than a leetle coincidental. What say you, gentle readers?
— SafeSpace —