Sunday, May 22, 2022

Hackers hit web hosting provider linked to Oregon election

SALEM, Ore. ( Associated Press) — A week ahead of Oregon’s primary election, the Secretary of State’s office is moving to protect the integrity of its online systems, where campaign finance records have been published after a web hosting provider was hit by a ransomware attack. are done.

Secretary of State Shemaia Fagan’s office said people entering records into the ORESTAR state campaign finance reporting system could be affected, and sent detailed instructions on how to proceed.

“The Oregon Secretary of State has not been hacked,” Fagan’s office reassured voters in a statement late Monday. “No sensitive data has been exposed on our systems. No system related to election administration has been compromised.”

As of Tuesday, a tenth of the registered voters had already cast their vote for the May 17 primary. Oregonians vote by mail or by using the official drop-off box.

The Oregon Election Division said Monday that it learned Opus Interactive — a web hosting provider used by campaign finance firm C&E Systems — was the victim of a ransomware attack.

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“C&E’s databases were compromised, including their client’s log-in credentials for ORESTAR accounts,” Fagan’s statement said. The Office of the Secretary of State said all 1,100 affected users are required to reset their passwords.

But Jeff Greene, owner of C&E Systems, gave the small number of users affected, saying only 300 customers are political committees involved in the 2022 midterm elections in Oregon.

“At least 500 committees no longer exist,” Green said. His company provides support in all aspects of campaign compliance and reporting, and indicated that the ransomware attack is more of an annoyance than anything else.

“This will not impact any of our clients as far as reporting (campaign spend and contributions). No candidate is going to be affected by this, even though we don’t have access to our fancy database to make it easy yet We can do everything that needs to be done manually,” he said.

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While candidates for state and local elections use OreStar, candidates for national office such as Congress use a different system.

Opus Interactive’s website was down on Tuesday morning. A person who answered the phone at the company said he could not comment on the ransomware attack.

An online “status page” The Portland company said of the issue, “Opus Interactive and some Opus-hosted customer virtual servers and backups were affected by a ransomware attack that encrypted server disk files.” It added that industry-leading cybersecurity and digital forensics experts are on hand to assist with the company’s response.

Fagan’s office said it works year-round with the US Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the FBI to ensure the integrity of its systems.

As of Tuesday morning, 288,337 completed ballots out of a total of over 29 lakh registered voters have been returned, according to the unofficial vote count by the Secretary of State.

Nation World News Desk
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