Illinois Board of Elections Hacked

The Illinois State Board of Elections was recently breached by unknown, possibly Russian, hackers. The board became aware of the breech on July 12th. The foreign hacks were made public by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Division on Monday, August 29th. 

The Board doesn’t yet know exactly whose information was accessed, it can only say with certainty that almost 700 voter records were viewed and it is possible the number could be as high as 86,000Hackers could have obtained the name, address, and date of birth of voters as well as a telephone number or email address if provided when the voter registered.  Once those individuals have been identified, they will be notified as the law requires.

The ISBE currently does not believe the access changed any of the data within the database or moved the dials on any of the ways the Board tries to monitor and enforce election law.  For example, the Election Code requires disclosure of a wide variety of contributions to campaign committees and the ISBE keeps databases of these disclosures.

The office of the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security said that the Secretary has contacted state election officials, presumably including Illinois officials, to offer help in building or reinforcing “firewalls” around state election commission data.  

If at any time a voter suspects they are a victim of identity theft, he or she may contact the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630 or 1-877-844-5461.