Florida county election office hit by ransomware before 2016 presidential election https://t.co/seMLjrT7pe— ZDNet (@ZDNet) February 13, 2020
Ransomware Attack Went UnreportedThe Palm Beach Post reported that the election office in Florida had been hit by a ransomware attack just weeks before the elections in the state. In an interview with Wendy Sartory Link, the current supervisor for the election office in Palm Beach County explained that a ransomware attack had been conducted on the election office’s computers. What’s worrisome about this attack is that it was never reported, even though it should have. Link, who succeeded Susan Bucher after the latter was fired in January 2019 for breaking laws and a “recount embarrassment,” explained to the news source that she only found out about the incident recently as she was taking interviews for the position of Head of IT. The previous holder of the position had to be relieved of his post after he was arrested for possession of child pornography. Despite the seriousness of the issue, it was never reported to the Department of Homeland Security or any other investigative body across the country. Link, however, promised that such an event wouldn’t be repeating itself as she recently commissioned a complete overview of the office’s IT systems. Bucher has also come out to deny any occurrences of such a nature. Speaking to reporters, Bucher said, “I can swear on a stack of Bibles that our county was never ‘ransomwared.’ It is irresponsible for the supervisor [Link] to scare our voters. We are behind Palm Beach County’s firewall. And she [Link] should know better.”
More Evidence of Trump Cheating?The Florida poll was one of the most-contested during the general elections in 2016. In the end, however, Trump was able to eke out a narrow victory over Clinton, emerging with 49 percent of the vote to pip Clinton’s 47.8 percent. The state has always been a tight race — Barack Obama himself won the state by just a 0.9 percent margin in 2012, despite his huge popularity in the national polls. Although the revelation is coming out about four years too late (and in preparation for another election, no less), it does call to question whether the Trump campaign could have been behind this. Trump and his team were accused of having sought help from Russia to win the election, with several incriminating evidence and reports pointing to collusion between the Republican candidate and the Kremlin. However, given the Russians’ affinity for waging war in cyberspace, it’s possible that they could have helped the Trump campaign by hitting several close-cut areas and giving their man the strategic upper hand. especially in a state where Clinton was initially tipped to win, albeit by a close margin.
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