- A major data breach at the Hillsborough County Supervisors of Elections Office in Tampa, Florida, has exposed the personal identification information of over 50,000 voters, prompting an ongoing investigation involving federal, state, and local law enforcement.
- Cybersecurity expert Andrew Sternke advises affected individuals to secure their personal information by changing passwords, implementing two-factor authentication, and keeping a close eye on their bank accounts for any irregular activities.
TAMPA, Fla. — A recent investigation has confirmed that an unauthorized data breach has occurred at the Hillsborough County Supervisors of Elections Office in early May, impacting over 50,000 voters.
The cyber invasion, illegal in nature, saw an unauthorized user accessing and copying files containing personal identification information, such as social security or driver’s license numbers. The information was harvested from files utilized for voter registration list maintenance.
“Voter registration list maintenance is the state-mandated process by which the office continually reviews its voter roll to identify necessary updates,” an official news release clarified. It further reassured that neither the voter registration system nor the ballot tabulation system, which enjoy additional layers of security, were breached during the attack.
Approximately 58,000 individuals are believed to have been affected by this cybercrime, with notification letters set to reach them within the week, alerting them to the illegal access of their personal data.
The illicit activity took place on May 3, with Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer assuring citizens that the unauthorized user failed to gain access to the voter registration or ballot tabulation systems. He reiterated the robustness of the security measures in place, stating, “the server was not compromised during the breach.”
As the investigation into the breach continues, the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office is collaborating with federal, state, and local law enforcement to confront this criminal cyber activity.
Cybersecurity expert Andrew Sternke, who operates DarkBox Security Systems, shed light on potential motives behind such actions. According to Sternke, hackers often aim to monetize the stolen information by selling it on the dark web.
Sternke’s advice for those receiving the alert letter includes changing their passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and monitoring their bank accounts vigilantly for any irregular activities.