Tech Vendor Potentially Opened Pathway for Hackers in 2016 N.C. Election: Report

A Florida-based election software company remotely connected to voting systems in North Carolina on the evening before the 2016 presidential election, potentially making it possible for hackers to tamper with voter records, Politico reports. VR Systems reportedly remotely accessed a central election computer in Durham County to “troubleshoot problems with the company’s voter list management tool” for several hours. That computer “communicated” with North Carolina’s State Board of Elections in order to download a voter list. There’s no evidence that anyone hacked voter results in North Carolina, but Politico notes that “interference with voter records or electronic poll book software could allow an attacker to alter records in a way that prevents people from voting in crucial swing precincts.”

VR Systems was the victim of a spear phishing attempt thought to be connected to Russia. While the company concluded it was not hacked, an investigation into the incident wasn’t completed until a year after the attack—which could have given hackers enough time to clean up their tracks.