Illinois State Board of Elections starts program to combat cyber - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Illinois State Board of Elections starts program to combat cyberattacks

Posted: Updated:

WSIL -- Just weeks after the Department of Justice handed down an indictment against Russian intelligence operatives for cyberattacks during the 2016 elections the Illinois State Board of Elections is advancing its own cybersecurity program.

The new Cyber Navigator Program will look to ensure all 108 election authorities across the state employ cybersecurity best practices.

"Until there was an actual hack in 2016, I don’t think anybody really realized that it was going to be possible to get in or that there could be issues," said Jackson County Clerk Larry Reinhardt.

He says now, more than ever, cyber security is a priority. In 2016 Illinois was among several states hacked by Russians, compromising the personal information of  approximately half a million voters.

Matt Dietrich, spokesperson for the Illinois State Board of Elections, says since then, the state has fixed vulnerabilities and is working to ensure voters’ data is as secure as possible. 

"We feel like we are doing our best to stay one step ahead of any bad actor who wants to try to intrude on our system," Dietrich said.

Under the Cyber Navigator program the state will hire nine cybersecurity specialists to work with local election authorities to install best practices and address other security needs on an individual basis. It will be financed by a $13.2 million federal grant. 

"The Cyber Navigator program is our way of making sure that none of the 108 local election jurisdictions in Illinois become a weak link that could be vulnerable to a cyberattack," Dietrich said.

The attempted hacks target voter data, not the actual results of elections. Both Dietrich and Reinhardt say the actual voting machines are not connected to any internet system and are virtually impossible to hack.

"The voting device that is used in the precinct is hand carried to our office, it’s hooked directly to our central count disconnected computer and everything is tabulated on that computer," Reinhardt said.

The state expects to have the cybersecurity specialists hired within the next month.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Locals give heroes welcome to honor flight veterans

    Locals give heroes welcome to honor flight veterans

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 12:00 AM EDT2018-10-17 04:00:15 GMT

    MARION, Ill -- An estimated 3,000 supporters attended the Welcome Home celebration at Veterans Airport Tuesday. When participants arrived back from a full day of touring war memorials in Washington D.C., they were greeted by locals wearing their red, white and blue while waving American flags and homemade banners.  

    MARION, Ill -- An estimated 3,000 supporters attended the Welcome Home celebration at Veterans Airport Tuesday. When participants arrived back from a full day of touring war memorials in Washington D.C., they were greeted by locals wearing their red, white and blue while waving American flags and homemade banners.  

  • Redbird Machinery Repair Offers Nearly 100 Jobs

    Redbird Machinery Repair Offers Nearly 100 Jobs

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 6:58 PM EDT2018-10-16 22:58:30 GMT

    ELDORADO, IL-- Redbird Machinery Repair is hiring for multiple full time positions. They're hoping to fill dozens of coal mining jobs throughout Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Indiana. Israel Burtis, Human Resource said, "There's a fast demand in the coal mines for coal miners right now and coal mines are continuing to grow back again." 

    ELDORADO, IL-- Redbird Machinery Repair is hiring for multiple full time positions. They're hoping to fill dozens of coal mining jobs throughout Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Indiana. Israel Burtis, Human Resource said, "There's a fast demand in the coal mines for coal miners right now and coal mines are continuing to grow back again." 

  • Rauner talks SIU, tax plan, and re-election

    Rauner talks SIU, tax plan, and re-election

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 5:59 PM EDT2018-10-16 21:59:57 GMT

    MARION, Ill. -- Tuesday morning Governor Bruce Rauner received a big endorsement from the Illinois State Rifle Association. While he was in town, News Three talked with him about what he believes voters should know before they head to the polls.

    MARION, Ill. -- Tuesday morning Governor Bruce Rauner received a big endorsement from the Illinois State Rifle Association. While he was in town, News Three talked with him about what he believes voters should know before they head to the polls.

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Slideshows
loading...
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WSIL. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.