Chicago Board of Election Website Catastrophic Security Breach

More than 1.7 Million Registered Voters Have Personal Information Disclosed

Forensicon just uncovered and reported a massive security breach at the Chicago Board of Election’s website http://www.chicagoelections.com. The last time this happened was back in 2006 when past and present Chairman of the Board of Elections ordered a computer forensics audit, yet here we are again with another major breach of voters’ personal information.

The security breach was discovered when Cyber Security and Computer Forensics firm, Forensicon’s President, Lee Neubecker, was attempting to access the Chicago Board of Elections website http://www.chicagoelections.com.

“I wanted to compare voting patterns between Cleveland, Ohio’s Ward 5 that reported 99% voting rates for President Obama in certain precincts. When I visited the Chicago Board of Election’s website, http://www.chicagoelections.com, to compare election returns of demographically similar wards and precincts in Chicago, I discovered the site would not load. I then tried browsing ftp.chicagoelections.com. The ftp port on chicagoelections.com did not require any authentication, but revealed the voter registration database username and password, among countless other data that should not be accessible to the public. A treasure trove of sensitive voter information such as driver’s license numbers, cell phone numbers, emails, dates of birth and more was revealed,” reported Neubecker.

Forensicon analysts have begun to review some of the compromised data in an attempt to quantify the scope of the information breached and inform the public. One unencrypted spreadsheet alone “fulldump.xls” last modified 11/6/2012 7:10AM contained sensitive information relating to over 1,200 individuals, including names, addresses, full driver’s license numbers, and the last 4 digits of their social security number. This is a massive security breach totaling approximately 5 Gigabytes of website code, registered voter information, election judge information, and much more.

[Updates:]

11/16 1:26 pm – Forensicon has transferred all of the data captured from the publicly available site to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

11/13 3:33 pm – The site ftp.chicagoelections.com/ is no longer accessible after Forensicon notified local government officials and law enforcement of the breach. However, the site www.chicagoelections.com is still active.

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