US agency that certifies voting machines investigates potential hack

The incident took place weeks after the presidential election

Click to follow
The Independent US

The US Election Assistance Commission, an agency who assists states to ensure that voting machines meet security standards, may have been hacked following the November election.

On Thursday, the agency announced that the FBI is investigating the incident which was apparently blocked as soon as officials learned of the breach.

News of the potential hack follows reports of cybersecurity attacks in the US presidential election that have caused widespread concern across the states. However, the situation is unrelated to reports that Russian hackers infiltrated the Democratic National Committee to help Donald Trump win the election earlier this year.

"We're hoping that his can be resolved relatively quickly,'' EAC Chairman Tom Hicks told USA Today on Friday, adding that the potential breach took place weeks after the election. "We don't have any information about voters,'' he said. "The states are running elections.''

Congress created the EAC back in 2002 coinciding with the Help America Vote Act to ensure states would improve their voting systems and set standards for technical guidelines across the states.

Security firm Recorded Future first identified the breach while monitoring underground markets where hackers buy and sell information. They recently discovered a Russian-speaking hacker offering logon credentials for 100 people at they agency so buyers could access computers at the EAC.

“We don’t think he actually works for any government or is super sophisticated,” Andrei Barysevich, director of advanced collection at Recorded Future, told reporters.

The FBI is currently investigating the incident but does not believe that a foreign government conducted the breach.