After an attack in November, the Secretary of State’s office was able to trace the breach to the Department of Homeland Security, which has denied it tried to break through the state’s computer firewall.
by Aaron Gould Sheinin, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, via GT:
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Wednesday asked President-elect Donald Trump to investigate the Department of Homeland Security’s apparent attempt to access his office’s computer system.
In a letter to Trump, Kemp asked that the president-elect to act once he is sworn in to office in January. Kemp said he is not satisfied with the response from current DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.
“Since contacting DHS with these concerns, we have collaborated with the agency and provided extensive, additional information,” Kemp wrote.
“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.”
Kemp’s office detected what he called a “large attack on our system” in November. His staff was able to trace the breach to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS has denied it tried to break through the state’s computer firewall.
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 is not convinced.
“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.”
Kemp, a potential Republican candidate for governor in 2018, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that DHS’s explanations keep changing and that Kemp’s own information technology staff cannot replicate what the feds say happened.
“It’s almost like they’re making it out to be that this is some sort of false positive,” Kemp said. “And we just have all these questions that haven’t been answered. The best way to get those answers was to ask the new administration to look at it.”
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