Georgia County Involved in Trump Election Case Hit by Cyberattack

Georgia County Involved in Trump Election Case Hit by Cyberattack

Todd Faulk Todd Faulk
Updated on: April 30, 2024

Georgia’s Coffee County Board of Commissioners discovered in late April that a malicious actor had infiltrated the county’s IT systems. The county found the breach after the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) detected unusual cyber activity in the county’s IT systems and notified the county’s commissioners on 15 April.

As a result of the cyberattack, the office of Georgia’ Secretary of State, which oversees the state’s elections, disconnected Coffee County from Georgia’s voter registration system on April 16 “out of an abundance of caution.”

The Secretary of State said that there’s no evidence that the breach involves other counties, but that the attackers may try to infiltrate additional counties one by one. The Secretary of State also barred Coffee County officials from accessing other state electronic systems, including an election management system, until the security breach is repaired.

The Coffee County board said in a public statement, “Upon examination, Coffee County’s IT infrastructure showed no evidence of exfiltration of data/files, but did indicate cyber-activity by an unknown malicious actor.” The board added that it is taking steps to secure its IT systems.

Coffee County’s IT systems came under intense scrutiny in the aftermath of the 2020 US presidential election when county officials allegedly allowed people associated with President Trump’s presidential campaign access to the county’s election software. The campaign staff reportedly made copies of the election software in an attempt to find evidence of vote rigging by allies of then-president-elect Joe Biden.

Cybersecurity experts have said that it’s quite plausible that bad actors have since obtained copies of the stolen software — which powers electronic voting machines in Georgia — to learn about the software’s vulnerabilities and to find ways to manipulate voting results.

The Coalition for Good Governance, a non-profit organization, is suing the Coffee County Board of Elections for stonewalling and withholding evidence that allegedly implicates county officials in colluding with the Trump campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

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