Secretary of State: Department of Homeland Security 'Hacked' Indiana Electoral System

Feb 24, 2017

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson
Credit Courtesy Indiana Office of Secretary of State

Indiana’s Secretary of State says the federal Department of Homeland Security accessed the state’s electoral system without Indiana’s permission before and after November’s presidential election. 

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports.

In an article in The Daily Caller – a news website founded by Fox News personality Tucker Carlson – Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson says officials with the federal agency scanned the state’s electoral system nearly 15,000 times. 

The scans came between November 1 of last year - before the November 8 presidential election – and through December 16.

Secretary of State spokesperson Valerie Warycha on Thursday confirmed Lawson’s statements, saying DHS IP addresses – those string of numbers that identify a computer to other computers – were scanning the state system without permission.

Lawson told The Daily Caller that the DHS scans, which she called “hacking attempts” did not breach Indiana’s voter registration system. 

She says one election website was penetrated, but she called it old and out-of-date.

Indiana is not the only state to make such a claim. 

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has asked the DHS Inspector General to investigate unauthorized scans of that state’s electoral system.  And Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney says DHS may have also tried to hack Idaho’s system around November 8.

Warycha says Indiana’s Secretary of State’s office is waiting to see the outcome of the Georgia investigation before deciding to contact the DHS Inspector General.

A DHS spokesperson says the agency does not conduct scans of systems “without the cooperation and consent of the system owner.”