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Audit: Chicago Elections Board Not Ready for a Cyberattack

Audit: Chicago Elections Board Not Ready for a Cyberattack (Govt., Critical Infrastructure)

In Chicago, Ferguson found that the elections board does not have an emergency plan in place, has not inventoried its computer hardware and software, and has not conducted any audits or risk assessments during the past dozen years, leaving the outcome of city elections vulnerable to a computer hack or other catastrophe. In a written response to Ferguson’s findings, the elections board asserted it already has “contingency plans in place for various emergency scenarios, including matters consulted with and agreed upon with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.” The board agreed to put those confidential plans in writing. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, which was created in the 1880s, conducts elections in the city, handles voter registrations and oversees political candidates for city office. In 2016, the city elections board initially resisted Ferguson’s attempts to investigate it, even though the board receives the bulk of its money from the city, and its 118 full-time employees are on the city’s payroll and receive the same benefits as city workers.

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