Today, in Tales of the Corrupt US Government…
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp wrote a letter to President-elect Donald Trump for some assistance with a disturbing problem: He wants Trump to help investigate the Department of Homeland Security’s apparent attempt to hack his office’s computer system.
In an interview with WSB-TV 2, Kemp confirmed the attacks of different levels on his agency’s network over the last 10 months. He says they all traced back to DHS internet provider addresses.
Last week, DHS confirmed the large Nov. 15 attack traced back to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection internet gateway.
But Kemp said DHS’s story about its source keeps changing:
First it was an employee in Corpus Christi, and now it’s a contractor in Georgia.
AJC.com reports that in his letter to Trump, Kemp explained that the response from current DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson does not satisfy him:
Since contacting DHS with these concerns, we have collaborated with the agency and provided extensive, additional information. Last night I received a letter from Secretary Johnson which lacked any specific information as to the attacks’ intent or origin despite the fact that many questions remain unanswered.
DHS also attempted to blame a Microsoft product, reports myAJC:
An agency spokesman declined comment Wednesday. But in the letter Johnson sent Kemp on Monday, the Homeland Security secretary said they traced the computer in question to a contractor at its Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick.
Johnson said the contractor is not part of the department’s cyber security team.
“He told us that he accessed your website as part of his normal job duties at FLETEC to determine whether incoming FLETEC contractors and new employees had a certain type of professional license – a service that, as I understand it, your website provides to the general public,” Johnson wrote, noting that their analysis showed it was “normal Microsoft Internet Explorer interaction by the contractor’s computer with your website.”
Kemp isn’t buying it:
“The scenario DHS has proposed has still not been verified by Microsoft,” Kemp wrote Johnson late Tuesday. “There are still many questions regarding the origin and intent of this attack that remain unanswered.”
Other attempts to break his system’s firewall were discovered by Kemp’s staff. They detected 10 separate “scans” of Georgia’s elections systems between Feb. 2 and Nov. 15 – and all were traced back to DHS. Kemp said many occurred suspiciously close to other events, including the day he testified against Homeland Security before a congressional committee and election day.
The first attempt happened on Feb. 2, the day after Georgia’s voter registration deadline. The next one took place just days before the SEC primary. Another occurred in May, the day before the general primary, and then two more took place in November, the day before and the day of the presidential election, reports WSB-TV 2.
How long until DHS blames Russia?
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