During the election, the Democrats and the media fired off all sorts of allegations about hacking.
They were accusing the Russians of interfering in the elections.
But one major hack was revealed to have come from the Obama Administration, and now the truth may finally emerge.
After the November election, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp discovered that on ten different occasions, an IP address connected to the Department of Homeland Security tried to hack Georgia’s election system.
Now the DHS Inspector General is investigating the matter.
The Daily Caller reports:
Federal officials have launched an investigation into why the Department of Homeland Security hacked into the Georgia state governmental network, including its election system, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.
John Roth, inspector general for DHS, wants to know why the agency broke protocol on its way to 10 unprecedented attacks on the system overseen by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp — who is also one of the most vocal critics about the Obama Administration’s attempt to designate local and state election machinery as part of federal “critical infrastructure.”
A Jan. 17 letter from Roth notified Kemp his office was officially “investigating a series of ten alleged scanning events of the Georgia Secretary of State’s network that may have originated from DHS-affiliated IP addresses.” A firewall in Georgia’s system thwarted each attempt.
Was the hacking a revenge scheme unleashed by Obama bureaucrats?
It may very well be the case.
Kemp and Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, collided over what Kemp called Obama’s power-grab to “federalize” the elections by designating election databases and systems as “critical infrastructure.”
The Daily Caller gives more details on the feud, and why this may mushroom into a major scandal for Obama even though he has left office:
Johnson sparked a firestorm among state-level secretaries of state — Democrat and Republican alike — when he announced Jan. 6, two weeks before leaving office, that he was unilaterally issuing the designation.
If Roth’s investigation shows Johnson or his subordinates deliberately used federal cybersecurity resources to penetrate a state election system in order to pressure a state official over a policy dispute, it could represent a significant scandal for Johnson and for the outgoing Obama Administration.
The “scans” are attacks to test security weaknesses in a network. It’s called the electronic equivalent of “rattling doorknobs” to see if they’re unlocked — or on a darker side, to send a message to a recipient.
Georgian IT specialists traced 10 such scans back to a DHS IP address. DHS officials confirmed the attacks came from an unnamed contractor attached to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, a part of DHS.
FLETCO officials have refused to identify the contractor and the agency did not respond to a DCNF inquiry about the intrusions.
This would be a serious scandal.
The Obama Administration may have unleashed the technological power of the federal government to retaliate against a political opponent.
It’s also a federal crime.
The Daily Caller reports House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz raised constitutional and criminal concerns in a January 11th letter asking for an investigation:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, asked Roth to investigate the matter in a Jan. 11 letter.
Chaffetz, who also is the chairman of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform told Roth, “If these allegations are true, they implicate state sovereignty laws and various other constitutional issues, as well as federal and state criminal laws.” Rep. Jody Hice, a Georgia Republican, co-signed the letter to Roth. Hice sits on the national security subcommittee.
Title 18 of the federal code makes it a federal crime to “having knowingly accessed a computer without authorization” and to damage or impair the integrity or availability of data, a program, a system, or information. The penalty could be a fine and up to 20 years for each offense.
Georgia also has several computer fraud and abuse statutes that could apply to the DHS contract employee and to other officials in Georgia who are implicated in the effort. Four of the 10 attacks against the Georgia network occurred as Kemp was about to talk to DHS officials, or coincided with his public testimony about his opposition to the critical infrastructure designation.