Hackers attempt cyber attacks on state voting system

Hackers attempt cyber attacks on state voting system
Secretary of State holds news conference on protecting voting amid cyber security hacking efforts

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - How safe is the ballot you will be casting during the November 6 election?

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann maintains that your ballot will be safe from hackers, but he reveals that there are thousands of attempts each month to try to penetrate the Statewide Election Management System.

In the past few weeks, the agency that oversees elections reports that hackers have attempted to get into the systems of circuit clerks and election commissioners.

“They are sending out emails to my circuit clerks and my election commissioners telling them to open this invoice from a former employee who’s no longer employed here," said Hosemann. “So I will tell you that’s the level of attempts we have going on.”

He said a dual authentication system is place preventing those efforts from gaining access.

The agency has been given $4.5 million from the federal government for cyber security which will be distributed to each county depending on population.

“We have firewalls. We have off site,” added Hosemann. “We have backups down to the point now that at 2:00 p.m. everyday I download the whole system and put it on tapes, and I put it in a bank vault.”

His office is working with Homeland Security, the FBI, the National Security Agency and a Cyber Security Specialty Task Force in the ongoing battle to protect voter registration and the ballot.

According to Hosemann, voting statewide is on tablets or paper scanners and are protected from hacking.

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