A PROBLEM WITH VOTING MACHINES AND CLOUD SERVICES services has led to the personal information of 1.8 million Chicago citizens being exposed online.
Security researchers from UpGuard spotted the issue with voting machine supplier Election Systems & Software (ES&S) when it found backup files of voter info on an Amazon web server. It explains that this voter information, on 1.8 million citizens, was not password protected.
ES&S confirmed the issue in a statement shared through the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. In that, it accepted its loss and admitted what was lost and what was not.
"As part of an effort to find unsecured files on Amazon Web Services (AWS) server platforms, a private researcher completed a download of the Election Systems & Software (ES&S) back - up files of voter data that were prepared for Chicago's electronic poll books and stored on the AWS platform," it said, as it rushed to explain that this does not have anything to do with voter fraud or election manipulation.
"The voter data in the backup files included about 1.8 million names, addresses, dates of birth, partial Social Security numbers, and in some cases, driver's license and state ID numbers. The backup files on the AWS server did not include any ballot in formation or vote totals and were not in any way connected to Chicago's voting or tabulation systems.
"These backup files had no impact on any voters' registration records and had no impact on the results of any election."
The CBEC said that it was glad that this was settled quickly, but was still "deeply troubled" by what happened. It thanked Chris Vickery of UpGuard, even though he and his news distressed and disturbed it so much.
"We were deeply troubled to learn of this incident, and very relieved to have it contained quickly ," said Chicago Election Board Chairwoman Marisel A. Hernandez.
"We have been in steady contact with ES&S to order and review the steps that must be taken, including the investigation of ES&S's AWS server. We will continue reviewing our contract, policies and practices with ES&S. We are taking steps to make certain this can never happen again." µ
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