Hacking of Wisconsin government systems surged tenfold during 2016 elections
Official records in Wisconsin suggest that there was a spike in attacks on government computer systems that coincided with 2016 election events.
Records from Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) administration that were obtained by USA Today-Wisconsin show that there was a drastic increase of alerts on hackers trying to find system vulnerabilities around the April primary last year.
On an average day, the state logs about 10,000 alerts on hackers trying to find holes in the system. But two days before the 2016 primary, the number of alerts surged to more than 150,000. Alerts on password-related hacks also spiked during the April primary, from 10,000 per day to 150,000 per day.
The alerts spiked again around the time that Green Party nominee Jill Stein requested a recount after then-GOP nominee Donald Trump narrowly won the state. Officials saw over 800,000 alerts in a single day, a tenfold increase.
Alerts did not spike abnormally on election day in November, according to the records.
Walker’s administration argued that the hacks were spread throughout state government systems, and that elections systems were not specifically targeted.