Georgia Secretary of State and Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into his office’s claim that the state’s Democratic party tried to hack the state’s voter registration system, and the GBI is now going to move forward with a criminal investigation.
“The GBI has been requested by the Secretary of State to investigate allegations of computer crimes related to the Secretary of State’s website(s),” GBI Public Affairs Director Nelly Miles told Law&Crime. “A criminal investigation will be conducted by the GBI’s Georgia Cyber Crime Center.”
Kemp’s office released a vague news release on Sunday that referred to “possible cyber crimes,” and adding that “no personal data was breached and our system remains secure.” Later in the day, it was reported that a woman named Rachel Small was being looked at in connection with the allegations. The Democratic Party of Georgia confirmed that Small was a volunteer with them, but said she was not involved in any hacking. Rather, they said, Small had received an email from a voter that pointed out flaws in the voter registration’s security system, and how it could be exploited to find voters’ personal information. Small then forwarded this email to the party’s Voter Protection Director Sara Ghazal, according to an email chain the party published on their website.
The party stated that Small did not conduct any cyberattack, and that if anyone did, it was the voter who contacted her.
“The Kemp campaign has no case and must immediately retract their defamatory accusations,” the party stated.
CNN reported that Kemp’s office first found out about the possible weakness in the system when the emails were forwarded by a representative from a cybersecurity expert who was brought in by the Democrats. The expert had reportedly been called in to take a look at any possible weaknesses in the system, and notified Kemp’s office of a potential “massive vulnerability.”
Alberto Luperon contributed to this story.
[Image via Fox 5 Atlanta]