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US Security agency sees no 'malicious activity' in latest crash of Florida's online voter registration system

04:20  08 october  2020
04:20  08 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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(AP) — Florida officials say there is no indication that a cyberattack crashed the state’ s online voter registration system just before the enrollment Because of the crash , Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed additional registrations for seven hours Tuesday. Several voting and minority rights groups filed a

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the state’ s voter registration deadline Tuesday after unexpected and unexplained heavy traffic crashed the state’ s online “If 500,000 people descend at the same time, it creates a bottleneck.” The state is investigating why its voter registration system crashed on

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — U.S. Chief Judge Mark Walker could decide Thursday whether to grant a request to stop the state from enforcing its voter registration deadline for the general election after the online system crashed due to an “unprecedented” volume of traffic.

For several hours before Monday’s midnight deadline, voters encountered error messages and delays in trying to get on the state’s website, after several days of intermittent glitches and interruptions.

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After a Florida voter registration website crashed on the final day residents were eligible to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is seen during a press conference relating hurricane season The system failure could have potentially prevented thousands from registering to vote in the key battleground state.

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said the United States will not tolerate any election interference and reiterated that he’d told his Russian There’s no evidence of hacker activity in a web crash that took down Florida ’ s online voter registration system before a registration deadline.

”Would-be voters attempting to register to vote through the system were faced with error messages instead of successful voter registrations,” a coalition of voting rights groups said in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tallahassee Tuesday against Gov. Ron DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel Lee.

The group is made up of Dream Defenders, New Florida Majority, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Organize Florida and a would-be voter who failed to register before Monday's deadline. They said the state's decision to extend the deadline to 7 p.m. Tuesday was not enough time to capture all the people who tried but failed to register.

a close up of a sign: Voters in the Youth Building at the Crawford County Fairgrounds used 32 new ExpressVote machines to mark their ballots on Tuesday. © Jason J. Molyet/Telegraph-Forum Voters in the Youth Building at the Crawford County Fairgrounds used 32 new ExpressVote machines to mark their ballots on Tuesday.

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The coalition released a statement Wednesday afternoon that it was encouraged by the questions Walker asked of the state.

"We believe it showed a willingness to understand the impact this has for aspiring voters," the group said. "We stress the urgency in resolving this matter and extending the voter registration deadline so that all eligible Floridians have the opportunity to vote and participate in the November 3 election.

During a status call Wednesday morning, Walker – who is also presiding over a federal case in Gainesville this week – asked the state to provide data showing how many people per hour were registering before the system crashed and how many were registering afterwards.

“Are we talking hundreds per hour, or tens of thousands trying to jam in?” Walker asked the state’s attorneys.

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“We were seeing 1.1 million per hour,” said attorney Mohammed Jazil, a lawyer representing Secretary Lee. "That’s 6.6 million in a six-hour window, or the entire state of Colorado, which was unusual.”

Walker said he found it hard to believe there were 6.6 million eligible voters in Florida, but Jazil explained that every time someone hit the refresh button it also counted as a hit.

“If you hit the refresh button 100 times, that counts as 100 hits,” he explained.

Lee had asked state and federal law enforcement about whether the unusually high volume was a deliberate or malicious cyberattack to crash the system, but authorities found no such evidence.

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C/Net reported today that CISA, the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security agency, said there were no signs of a cyberattack causing the outage and suggested instead that the state wasn't prepared for the unprecedented volume of traffic.

"Yesterday, Florida's voter registration site was unavailable for portions of the evening due to a high volume of traffic. At this point, there is no indication of malicious activity causing the outage," an agency spokesperson said. "We will continue to monitor the situation and support Florida and other states in protecting the 2020 election."

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This Information Security Test contains around 20 questions of multiple choice with 4 options. Which Of The Following Is An Independent Malicious Program That Need Not Any Host Program? Performing Hacking Activities With The Intent On Gaining Visibility For An Unfair Situation Is Called.

The state's OVR system has crashed several times since it went live in 2017, including a month before the deadline for the 2018 primary, again during book closing for the November 2018 general election registration deadline, after the March Presidential Preferential Primary and before the August primary.

The site also went offline on National Voter Registration Day in 2019.

"Florida is aware that there is increased traffic on book closing days, but the state has not taken steps to ensure that the site has the necessary capacity to accommodate the increased demand," the lawsuit claims.

In an interview in September with USA TODAY Network, Lee said the state was adding servers to expand its load-bearing capacity in advance of an expected surge due to the presidential election and the state's own voter registration effort to get 2.2 million potential voters to register.

"We  believe there is still time to reopen registration, and get people into the system and still have poll books ready for the general election," said Stuart Naifeh, a lawyer for the Dream Defenders and other plaintiffs.

"Our view is it doesn't matter, the reason for the shutdown, whether it was malicious attack or a capacity issue. People should be able to register."

Follow Jeff Schweers on Twitter @jeffschweers

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Security agency sees no 'malicious activity' in latest crash of Florida's online voter registration system

Virginia voter registration website back up after outage on last day to register .
Virginia's voter registration website was back up Tuesday afternoon after an outage that lasted about six hours on the commonwealth's last day to register to vote ahead of the November election. The Virginia Department of Elections on Tuesday afternoon said its citizen portal - which allows residents to register to vote, update information and check their registration status - was back up. "Thank you everyone for your patience! The citizen portal is back up, you can go to http://elections.virginia.gov/voterinfo to register to vote, update information or check your registration status," the department tweeted.

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