Weeks before the US election 2020, Georgia Hall County suffered a ransomware attack on its voting system. Their IT systems went down following the attack.
Georgia County Voting System Under Attack
Reportedly, Hall County Georgia suffered a ransomware attack on October 7, 2020, about a month before the November 3 election.
Following the incident, Hall County disclosed the news on their website. As revealed, the incident not only affected the ‘critical systems’ of the entity but also their phone systems.
However, they assured that the incident did not impact the citizens’ or employees’ data.
According to The Gainesville Times that first disclosed the incident, a Hall County spokesperson confirmed that the impacted systems included the voter signature database and a voting precinct map hosted on the county’s website.
Though, Hall County confirmed in an update that the voting process for the voters remained unaffected. However, the unavailability of these two systems compelled the staff to move to manual verification of voter signatures. As the Registration Coordinator, Kay Wimpye told,
As long as the ballot is here, it’s time-stamped, it’s secured in the office, the ballot will be accepted. It’s just taking us a little longer to verify those signatures.
Following the incident, Hall County, GA, involved the relevant cybersecurity experts for investigation and restoration purposes. According to their website,
As soon as it occurred, the County began working to investigate the cause, to restore operations, and determine the effects of the incident. Hall County has also enlisted the assistance of third party cyber security professionals to expedite the recovery.
Consequently, they could soon restore the phone services, something they also disclosed via a subsequent update.
However, they haven’t disclosed any further details about the type of ransomware attack, the exact demand, and whether or not they have decided to pay the ransom to the attackers, or have paid already.