Attempted Breach of SoS Firewall Likely Due to a Computer Misconfiguration

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security believes the attempt to breach the Georgia Secretary of State’s firewall using A DHS IP address was due to a computer in the Department of Customs and Border Security that was improperly configured to query the Secretary of State’s professional licensing database.

According to an official with the Department of Homeland Security,

[A] preliminary investigation had traced the incident to the computer of an employee at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection whose job responsibilities included verifying professional licensing information that are often maintained by state secretaries of state.

The department has interviewed the employee and now believes that the user’s computer workstation was inadvertently configured to make legitimate inquiries on the state website look like an attempt to breach its computer firewall.

According the the WSJ, the incident will continue to be investigated, however DHS has said there was no intentional effort by the department to maliciously penetrate the firewall.

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So, an accident. That didn’t take long, if they’re talking to the originating employee already.

From the DHS text, it’s not clear if they hit the wrong database or if they hit the right one thousands of times. Maybe Kemp will tell us.

Thanks to Secretary Kemp and the security system we bought for him.