Homeland Security Department Hacked Idaho State Election Website

Feb 16, 2017

Idaho Secretary of State Lawrence Denny has disclosed that Idaho is one of several states whose official election websites experienced unauthorized intrusions by the federal Department of Homeland Security during the 2016 election.

Following the election, Denny told the Idaho Falls Post-Register, “there was an interesting IP address that we found. That was our own Department of Homeland Security.” He was, understandably, frustrated that the federal agency had attempted to penetrate the state election website “without knowledge of why they would want to hack, and without telling us that they were trying to do penetration tests.” The discovery “really concerned me,” Denny explained, “and it concerned a number of other secretaries of state across the country.”

Like several other secretaries of state, Denny publicly opposed the Homeland Security Department’s decision to designate state election systems as “critical infrastructure” under federal supervision.

“We don’t know for sure what declaring elections as critical infrastructure means,” Denny complains.

Idaho’s Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst is concerned that the designation means that Washington is seeking to “nationalize elections.”

“If it’s to give states or counties access to expertise that the Department of Homeland Security has, that’s one thing,” comments Holt. “But if they’re just going to step in and do [the election] for you, that’s something else.”