One day before Mississippians go to the polls for the midterm election WJTV spoke with Mississippi’s Secretary of State about efforts to protect the state’s election systems.
“There are aggressive attempts to break into our system everyday- literally every minute of every day,” said Delbert Hosemann
Hosemann adds there are tens of thousands of hacking attempts and the leading places are Russia, China, Japan and the Netherlands.
He said, “It’s not news to me that they’’re attempting this, and yes the numbers of attempts are significant.”
While he says cyber security was the furthest thing from his mind when he took office in 2008 he quickly learned how to keep ballots as secure as possible.
“We have fire walls, we have protections we have instituted off site, I’ve gone to the level that 2 o’clock every day I download the whole system and I put it in a bank vault,” Hosemann said.
“I think the hacking into the system, in my opinion really is more about getting your information to get your money,” He said. “They want to get the last four digits of your social security number, your date of birth and your address. “
Four and a half million dollars of federal grants will go towards helping counties better protect their elections.
“Even in an event that someone were to get in I have put stops so you couldn’t get into another county for example and you couldn’t’ get in an x number and I’m not going to get in the x number but you couldn’t get in an x number before the whole system shuts down,” the secretary said.
Hosemann says the best way to secure your ballot is to be smart and go vote.
“The only reason you not gone be able to get your ballot counted is if you don’t get in your truck and go cast it,” said Hosemann.
HIs office often test its cyber security by getting outside groups including the Mississippi national guard to try and hack in.
None of the voting machines are connected to the internet and every ballot is audited with a paper trail.