NewsPublic Affairs / November 7, 2016

Indiana Prepares For Potential Cyber Attacks On Election Day

Secretary of State’s office is working with local and national Homeland Security, FBI officials, Indiana State Police and other law enforcement organizations.Election 2016, cybersecurity, Indiana Secretary of State, cyber attack2016-11-07T00:00:00-05:00
Indiana Prepares For Potential Cyber Attacks On Election Day

The Indiana Secretary of State’s office says it is working with several state and federal agencies to guard against a potential cyber attack.

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INDIANAPOLIS — With Election Day rolling in, the Indiana Secretary of State’s office is taking extra measures to prepare for a potential cyber attack.

Multiple intelligence sources said U.S. officials are “deeply concerned about and are preparing for some sort of cyber chaos” on Election Day, according to an NBC News report last week.

“I can tell you we are confident in the integrity of our elections,” said Valerie Warycha, communications director for the Secretary of State’s office.

Madison County computer servers were a recent victim of cyber attacks when malicious software left their systems inaccessible Friday. The attacks did not compromise any voting data, which is housed in a different system.

Working with both local and national Homeland Security, FBI officials, Indiana State Police and other law enforcement organizations, Warycha said the Secretary of State’s office is taking precautions.

“[These federal agencies] have notified us of IP addresses to watch for that have tried to hack into other states statewide voter registration systems,” Warycha said. “Indiana’s voting equipment is not connected to the internet. In addition, there are 92 counties in Indiana and they don’t all use the same equipment. This provides an extra layer of security in our state.”

Laura Albright, an assistant professor of political science at University of Indianapolis, said part of the reason Indiana still has the “old fashion system,” instead of internet voting, is to avoid the possibility of invalid ballots.

While she admits that internet voting could be convenient, Albright said Indiana’s current system confirms that both the Democratic and Republican parties are observing at each voting site.

“It can make sure the ballots are, in fact, valid and correct and they are being counted the way they should be so you don’t have someone come in from the outside if we did something online because we do have that paper trail,” Albright said.

Warycha said the Secretary of State’s office has “been working for months” to ensure security measures are in place to avoid any type of attack.

“Hoosier voters should feel confident in the security and integrity of our state’s elections,” Warycha said.

If a voter suspects fraud or a potential violation, they are encouraged to call the Secretary of State’s office at 866-461-8683 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Shelby Mullis is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

 

 

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