- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 4, 2017

Election systems used by Georgia’s Secretary of State may have been recently hacked, Kennesaw State University announced Friday.

“Kennesaw State officials are working with federal law enforcement officials to determine whether and to what extent a data breach may have occurred involving records maintained by the Center for Election Systems,” the university said in a statement Friday.

The Center of Election Systems was created in 2002 “to provide services for Georgia Election Officials and poll managers to assist with the operation of the voting system,” according to its website, and “maintains an arms-length working relationship with the Secretary of State.”

Potentially millions of of voter records maintained by the center were compromised during a Wednesday evening data breach, Atlanta’s WSB-TV reported citing unnamed sources.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office said the apparent incident isn’t related to its own network, however, and said its own database containing the personal records of the state’s 6.6 million voters was never breached.

“Because this involved a pending criminal investigation Kennesaw State will have no further comment on this matter and any inquiries should be addressed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the university said in Friday’s statement.

Neither the FBI nor the local U.S. Attorney’s Office could be immediately reached for comment Friday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. KSU President Sam Olens and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp both declined to discuss the matter as well, the Marietta Daily Journal said.

Election cybersecurity became a hot-button issue last year amid allegations that Russia sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 White House race by hacking American targets, including the Democratic National Committee and the chairman of the party’s nominee for president.

An assessment published by the U.S. intelligence community in January prior to President Trump’s inauguration concluded that the “Kremlin’s campaign aimed at the U.S. election featured disclosures of data obtained through Russian cyber operations,” including “intrusions into U.S. state and local electoral boards.”

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