Barack Obama, after the election, ordered U.S. agencies to investigate “foreign hacking” of the U.S. election. Basically nothing came of that other than Democrats screaming, “THE RUSSIANS” at every opportunity. In fact the Russians hacked nothing related to the U.S. election, they simply gained access to the Clinton campaign and DNC email accounts through the stupidity of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
The Trump administration, through the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security, John Roth, is launching another investigation that may bear more fruit.
Roth wants to know why the Department of Homeland Security launched 10 unprecedented cyber attacks on the election system of the state of Georgia. Ten days ago Roth notified Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp that the IG was officially “investigating a series of 10 alleged scanning events at the Georgia Secretary of State’s network that may have originated from DHS affiliated IP addresses.”
The state of Georgia and Kemp may have been targeted by outgoing DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson because of Kemp’s vocal criticism of Johnson’s designation of local and state election machinery as part of federal critical infrastructure. That move by Johnson gives the federal government effective control over elections.
IT specialists in Georgia traced 10 cyber attacks back to a DHS IP address. DHS official confirmed the attacks came from a contractor attached to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security. DHS officials refused to identify the contractor and won’t comment about the attacks.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz wrote a letter asking Roth to investigate the cyber attacks. “If these allegations are true, they implicate state sovereignty laws and various other constitutional issues, as well as federal and state criminal laws.” Title 18 of the U.S. code makes it a federal crime to have “knowingly access to computer without authorization” and carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison for each offense. Georgia has additional computer fraud and abuse statutes that could apply at the state level to the DHS contractor and other officials in Georgia.
Should the investigation by Roth show that Secretary Johnson or his subordinates deliberately used federal cyber security resources to penetrate a state election system over a policy dispute that would be a significant scandal for the outgoing Obama administration. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find Susan Rice making the rounds on the Sunday shows blaming this attack “on a video.”
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