Investigation indicates DHS did now not hack Georgia computers

The Department of Homeland Security did not interact in an extended cyber attack against the nation of Georgia, the DHS inspector fashionable has decided.


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“We have currently completed our investigation into those allegations and have determined that the interest Georgia referred to on its PC networks turned into the result of every day and automated laptop message exchanges generated using the Microsoft packages worried,” Inspector General John Roth wrote in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Monday.

In December, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp despatched a letter to then-Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson accusing the DHS of 10 cyber attacks of varying sizes around the time of the 2016 presidential election, implying that the alleged assaults were related to the country turning down DHS assist to comfortable election systems.

“On November 15, 2016, an IP address related to the Department of Homeland Security made an unsuccessful try to penetrate the Georgia Secretary of State’s firewall. I am writing you to invite whether or not DHS was aware of this strive and, if so, why DHS was trying to breach our firewall,” he wrote.


The DHS said inner research into the reported incident confirmed that the “try to penetrate the Georgia Secretary of State’s firewall” become honestly residual traffic from a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center worker checking the Georgia firearms license database. That worker said he changed into doing due diligence on non-public security contractors for the power.

That traffic became caused by the worker cutting and pasting facts from the database to Microsoft Excel, which sent light site visitors to the Georgia server even as parsing the information. That site visitors would have been in no manner extraordinary.

The DHS inspector widespread, which operates independently from the DHS chain of command, carried out the 2nd investigation. It established the first record’s outcomes, finding that other states that made comparable claims following the Georgia accusation were regarded also to have drawn nonmalicious traffic.

Roth stated in his letter that the DHS net addresses that contacted the Georgia systems could not be used to assault those systems inside the way Kemp defined.

“DHS’s internet proxies are configured to make sure its customers as it should get right of entry to the internet regular with DHS’s perfect-use guidelines, and would now not allow users to behavior port scanning or similar assaults on Georgia’s structures. In different phrases, it truly might no longer have been possible for the DHS customers to attack Georgia’s systems from those DHS IP addresses,” he wrote.

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