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Illinois voter registration hack smaller than originally thought

By
Eric DuVall
Officials with the Illinois state board of elections said a data breach that exposed thousands of voters' information was smaller than originally thought. Fewer than 90,000 voters were potentially exposed and most of the information hackers could have obtained was publicly available already. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Officials with the Illinois state board of elections said a data breach that exposed thousands of voters' information was smaller than originally thought. Fewer than 90,000 voters were potentially exposed and most of the information hackers could have obtained was publicly available already. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Elections officials in Illinois said this week the data breach of state voter registration rolls was smaller than first thought, with fewer than 90,000 people affected.

Initially, the Illinois state board of elections said as many as 200,000 voters' information had been accessed.

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On Wednesday, the board released an update, saying it has confirmed 700 individuals definitely had their information accessed, though officials said most or all of the information seen by hackers was publicly available anyway.

If a voter's records were viewed, hackers could have obtained the voter's name, address and date of birth. If the voter provided a phone number, email address, driver's license number or the last four digits of his or her Social Security number when registration occurred, that information may also have been viewed," the board said.

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Those individuals will be notified by mail, as per state law.

The board said it "strongly suspected" another 86,000 people's data were hacked and the investigation into what the digital intruders might have gleaned is ongoing. Those individuals will be contacted by mail in the next 30 days.

None of the information accessed was altered by hackers, the board said.

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Officials said the data breach was a sophisticated operation, but the board of elections and law enforcement responded appropriately.

"The cyber-intrusion was a complex attack, involving thousands of lines of encoded inquiries. Upon becoming aware of the cyber-intrusion, the Illinois attorney general, the state general assembly and all Illinois election authorities were notified," the board said.

Elections officials in Arizona said they, too, had been hacked. While no voter information was stolen, malware had been introduced into the state voter database.

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