GA elections servers wipe just latest blow to elections system

(Source: WGCL)

The latest bombshell about Georgia’s election system is that the server storing your personal information, sensitive information, and other sensitive voting data was wiped clean.

A group seeking election transparency filed an open records request.

The nearly 200 pages released show key information about how security of Georgia’s election system was handled.

The contents of Georgia’s main elections server are gone, as well as the contents of the backup server according to internal emails from the center for elections systems at Kennesaw State University.

To Logan Lamb, it’s just the latest blow to Georgia’s election system.

“From what we know publicly today, I don’t feel comfortable saying we should run any election with this equipment,” said Lamb.

Strong words from Lamb, who first sounded the alarm to Georgia’s elections authorities in August of last year, and again this past February.

He was able to hack into the state’s voting system, accessing voters’ personal data and passwords used in Georgia’s elections system. Now, an open records reveals key info may be lost forever.

Georgia Tech Professor Richard Demillo said “the information that was at Kennesaw State has been deliberately erased from the servers, the original server and the back up server.”

And here’s the kind of missing information that might have been answered in those servers, according to Demillo.

“We don’t know who accessed the server. We don’t know how many people accessed it. We don’t know what they looked at. We don’t know where they came from, so if there were Russian IP addresses, that info is gone.”

Kennesaw State University did not respond to CBS 46 requests for comment.

Neither did Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, but all along, Kemp firmly called any claims of Russian hacking or otherwise, fiction.

He insists the election system is secure.

“It’s something I don’t understand. It’s not my experience that people, that people who have the evidence to show you that they’re innocent don’t show you the evidence,” said Demillo.

The timing of the servers being degaussed is puzzling to Demillo and Lamb.

It happened just days after a lawsuit was filed claiming Georgia’s election system was not secure.

And here’s another surprising aspect found in the internal emails.

An IT employee writes, “I’m happy to report that the remaining servers and the hard drives were degaussed three times.”

A supervisor at KSU’s Center for Elections System, said “this is fantastic news, great work to all parties.”

“Whenever I first accessed the server, it looked bad. And it turns out that as more information becomes available, the situation seems to just keep getting worse,” said Lamb.

According to one of the email, the FBI had a forensic image.

So all may not be lost.

A spokesperson from Kennesaw State University sent CBS46 the following statement: In March 2017, a Center for Election Systems’ server involved in an alleged data breach was turned over to the FBI. While the server was in the possession of the Bureau, a forensic image or copy of all the data on the server was made and held by the agency. Following the notification from the FBI that no data was compromised and the investigation was closed, the server was returned to the University’s Information Technology Services group and securely stored. In accordance with standard operating procedures, an after-action report was prepared. This report outlined hardware improvements for the Center, including repurposing the impacted server and surplusing servers that had exceeded end of life. As part of the report, the original server that had been investigated by the FBI was designated to be repurposed, and the drives on the server were erased and the server made available for alternative uses.

As noted by the subpoena filed today by the Attorney General’s Office, the data and information that was on the server in question has been and is still in the possession of the FBI and will remain available to the parties in the event it is determined to be relevant in the pending litigation.Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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