Forbes: The FBI is investigating voter data theft
Forbes magazine says that Arizona federal agents raided a two-story house in Fountain Hills, Maricopa County, to investigate a cyber-attack on an unnamed organization and stolen voter data.
Forbes said, “On the morning of November 5, as the 2020 election hung in the balance, Arizona federal agents raided a two-story house in Fountain Hills, Maricopa County, a county that had become a key battleground in the presidential race”.
The magazine added, “The agents were looking for evidence of a cyber-attack on an unnamed organization and stolen voter data. They left with 8 hard drives, 3 computers and a bag of USB sticks”.
Forbes confirmed that “the resident of the property, a 56-year-old IT expert named Elliot Kerwin, was served the warrant and did not face any charges”, noting that “There is no indication that anything other than voters’ information was taken from the affected office”.
The warrant, discovered by Forbes this week, reveals investigators have been looking into a computer intrusion at an unnamed “victim office,” which occurred from October 21 to November 4. It appeared that it was used to access the IT network at the office, as well as “protected voters’ information” and any indication that it had been disseminated to other people.
Of the 15 county records offices that Forbes contacted about the investigation, only one, Maricopa County, confirmed voter data had been stolen, indicating that a federal investigation is underway. The Maricopa County Recorder’s office, did not confirm whether or not the investigation was the same as that referred to in the search warrant.
Analysis by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office IT Security indicates an unauthorized individual gathered publicly accessible voter information from our website,” a spokesperson said. They didn’t specify what voter information and declined to comment any further on the nature of the attack.” The data set could be significant, there were more than 2.5 million registered voters in the county for the 2020 elections”, she added.
“Additional security controls were put in place to mitigate against this activity occurring in the future. The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office has reported this to proper authorities and law enforcement personnel, and there is an ongoing investigation by the FBI at this time. The FBI informed our office today they served a warrant,” the spokesperson added.
The Arizona Department of Justice told Forbes that it could not comment. A spokesman for the FBI said they could not confirm or deny any investigation.
According to the magazine, “The investigation is the only known probe by the FBI into a cyber-attack on an electoral body responsible for handling the 2020 election. But there is no evidence to suggest that any theft of voter registration data could’ve had an impact on the election in Arizona”.
Despite fears of foreign interference and voter fraud, the DHS’ Cyber-security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has stated the 2020 election was the “most secure in American history.”
The former US Cyber-security Agency director Chris Krebs accused President Donald Trump’s administration of providing misinformation about the presidential election results.
Krebs said “the election results are clear and this race has ended,” stressing on the need to prepare for Biden’s inauguration next month.