California has launched few government projects with higher stakes than its ambitious 2018 program for registering millions of new voters at the Department of Motor Vehicles, an effort with the potential to shape elections for years to come.
Yet six days before the scheduled launch of the DMV’s new “motor voter” system last April, state computer security officials noticed something ominous: The department’s computer network was trying to connect to internet servers in Croatia.
“This is pretty typical of a compromised device phoning home,” a California Department of Technology official wrote in an April 10, 2018, email obtained by The Times. “My Latin is a bit rusty, but I think Croatia translates to Hacker Heaven.”
Although the email described the incident as the DMV system attempting “communication with foreign nations,” a department spokesperson later insisted voter information wasn’t at risk.
Read the full story on LATimes.com.
Exclusive: California’s new “motor voter” system was hit by likely foreign hackers right before its spring 2018 launch, and the project was beleaguered by staff tensions, rushed deadline. My investigation into the DMV/CDT project’s rough launch. https://t.co/M09bGCN678
— John Myers (@johnmyers) April 9, 2019
Programmers warned that the 2018 launch of California's "motor voter" system could be a debacle, but state officials rolled it out anyway, even after detected signs of an international hacking attempt, according to interviews & a Times review of documents. https://t.co/jCvTxTXi0I
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 9, 2019