RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — According to a report issued Monday, there was no evidence in the federal investigation that cyber-attacks were responsible for computer errors that affected elections in the county of North Carolina in 2016.

The report of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it did not identify any malware or remote access to the systems analyzed by the Durham County Board of Elections.

Following the failure of voter check-in software, federal authorities performed a forensic analysis of the county’s electronic poll books to see if Russian military hackers who targeted the software provider might have exploited registration information to disrupt voting.

Laptops used on November 2016 in some precincts in Durham County on Election Day revealed inaccurate data for poll workers, such as incorrectly identifying voters as having previously voted and recognizing registered voters as unregistered. The online poll books of the VR Systems compelled authorities in the heavily Democratic county to turn to records of paper registration and expand voting hours.

State election authorities confiscated 21 laptops used to test voters in Durham County and requested federal officials to do a computer equipment forensic examination.

Federal investigators “did not conclusively identify any threat actor activity,” however, according to the report they identified aspects of county cyber security that could be strengthened.

Durham County lap tops analysis was the first recognized federal investigation of equipment that failed in the 2016 election, when several states were targeted by Russian hackers.

VR Systems were targeted by a Russian spear-phishing campaign but the result was not compromised as according to Chief Operating Officer Ben Martin.

Martin said that he thinks that a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election by special counsel Robert Mueller referred to his organization Tallahassee, Florida — the name was published — to explain how Russian spies deployed malware on a company’s network “developed software used by numerous U.S. counties to manage voter rolls.”

Martin disputed that finding, saying the audit of a cybersecurity firm found no sign of an infringement. However, the concerns of North Carolina have been renewed by the mention of the electronic poll book company in the Mueller report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *