State officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were warned this week to a larger data leak revealing the names, addresses, dates of birth, incomplete Social Security numbers, and party connections of over a million Chicago residents. Some driver’s license and state ID numbers were also revealed.
Jon Hendren, who works in the cyber resilience firm UpGuard, identified the breach on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) device that was not guarded by a password. The voter data was then downloaded by cyber risk investigator Chris Vickery who decided Election Systems & Software (ES&S) compared the data. ES&S produces voting machines and services in at least 42 states.
News spoke quickly with Chicago officials regarding the matter on Saturday. The city did not immediately answer to a question for comment on Thursday after ES&S posted about the leak on its website. A speaker for US Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois also verified on Saturday that the representative had been made aware of the situation.
ES&S was notified this week by the FBI and began its own “full search” with UpGuard’s support, “to perform total forensic analyses of the AWS server,” the organization said in a statement, adding that the research is still ongoing.
ES&S said the AWS server did not include “any ballot information or vote sums and were not in anyhow connected to Chicago’s choosing or tabulation systems.” The organization stressed that the leak had “no bearing on the results of any election.”
An ES&S electronic poll book a kind of machine used to check in voters on Election Day was toyed with by hackers at the Defcon security conference this year in Las Vegas. As News particularly reported, the hackers found loaded on the device the personal records of 654,517 people who established in Shelby County, Tennessee, including names, addresses, birthdates, and political party. The poll book was bought on eBay. ES&S did not respond to questions for comment for this story.
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