DataNet Vulnerability Exposes Thousands

The District of Columbia Board of Elections (DCBOE) is in the eye of a cybersecurity storm after a data breach potentially impacted over 600,000 D.C. voters. The breach’s origins trace back to the web hosting provider, DataNet, rather than the DCBOE’s direct infrastructure.


RansomedVC Claims Responsibility and Flaunts Evidence

The enigmatic hacker group, RansomedVC, has taken credit for the breach, boasting that they’ve accessed extensive voter data. As a chilling proof of their feat, they’ve displayed a sample voter record on their dark web site, containing a trove of personal details.


Cyber Underworld in Disarray: Competing Claims and Disputes

The hacking community is witnessing internal rifts as RansomedVC’s recent assertions of hacking Sony’s systems are challenged by another threat actor, MajorNelson. This dispute, combined with anonymous tips about the DCBOE data being sold on hacking forums, adds layers of complexity to an already intricate digital crime landscape.

News > Cyber-Attacks > Ransomware
by Kevin Wood

District of Columbia Board of Elections Grapples with Serious Data Breach




WASHINGTON D.C. – The District of Columbia Board of Elections (DCBOE) has found itself in the midst of a cybersecurity whirlwind, as it investigates a data leak that could potentially affect thousands of D.C. voters. This comes on the heels of a claim made by the shadowy hacker group, RansomedVC, stating they have illegally accessed over 600,000 voter records.

The DCBOE, a pivotal autonomous agency within the D.C. Government, plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of elections, voter registration, and ballot management. Initial findings from the ongoing investigation point to the breach originating not from DCBOE’s internal servers but via DataNet, the agency’s web hosting provider. This distinction offers some solace, as it indicates that the core infrastructure of the electoral system remains uncompromised.

Responding to the potential severity of the breach, the DCBOE swiftly swung into action on October 5th. Collaborating closely with the MS-ISAC’s Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT), the board promptly took its website offline, supplanting it with a maintenance page. This precautionary step was essential in ensuring that the breach did not escalate further.

In the hours and days that followed, the DCBOE solicited the expertise of data security professionals, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These combined efforts aimed to conduct a meticulous security analysis of all operational systems. On top of this, the board has kickstarted vulnerability scans across its digital landscape, ranging from databases and servers to IT networks. The primary goal? To detect and rectify any chinks in the armor that might have allowed hackers unauthorized access.

RansomedVC’s audacious claims have raised eyebrows, especially as they have showcased a sample voter record on their dark web portal as evidence of the breach. This record includes sensitive personal data like name, registration and voter IDs, partial Social Security number, driver’s license details, and contact information. While some voter data, such as names and voting records, are publicly accessible in D.C., confidential details like contact info and SSNs are not shared publicly, leaving many to question the extent of the breach.

In a twist, an anonymous tip on October 3rd, two days prior to the DCBOE’s acknowledgment of the breach, hinted at the stolen voter database being offered for sale on hacking forums BreachForums and by a user named pwncoder. These posts, however, have since vanished.

Amidst these unsettling developments, the digital underworld seems abuzz with disputes over hacking claims. RansomedVC’s recent allegations of infiltrating Sony’s systems have been contested by another cyber entity, MajorNelson, further muddying the waters of the hacking community.

As the DCBOE grapples with the current crisis, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present cyber threats facing modern-day institutions. It underscores the paramount importance of robust cybersecurity protocols and the relentless vigilance required to thwart such malicious activities.



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