Ransomware Attacks During the 2020 Election Cycle

Allan Liska filed this request with the Secretary of State of New Hampshire.
Est. Completion Sept. 29, 2020
Status
Partially Completed

Communications

From: Allan Liska


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New Hampshire Right to Know Law, I hereby request the following records:

Guidance, including guidance to state and local elections officials and SOS IT staff, avoiding, detecting or mitigating ransomware attacks on elections systems during the 2020 election cycle, on best practices for state and local elections officials accessing or storing sensitive information, including voter databases, and evaluations about the threat of ransomware disrupting the elections.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Allan Liska

From: Secretary of State

Allan Liska:
The Secretary of State's office acknowledges receipt of your Right-to-Know request on July 20, 2020.

In a partial response to your request, we are attaching responsive records, materials provided to local election officials during past training, which in part addresses ransomware.

A component of cybersecurity training is use of a commercial service, in 2019 the SANS Institute, which provides on-line interactive training that includes short videos. The attached letter introduces this training to local officials. We do not possess the actual videos and interactive questions/answers that are part of that program they are the commercial property of the vendor, so are not able to provide that to you. The 2020 training cycle starts in August.

We require additional time to locate any additional responsive records and to review to determine whether any information is exempt from disclosure. Please note, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional time may also be required because many staff are currently engaged full-time in responding to issues arising from the State of Emergency. Furthermore the upcoming 2020 state elections and training being presented in August demands the time of the staff who would need to search for further responsive records. In order to respond as quickly as possible, we plan to provide a rolling production, providing responsive documents when they are identified by our search and prepared for disclosure. We expect to complete our response to this request by September 29, 2020.

Orville B. Fitch II
Elections Legal Counsel, Assistant Secretary of State
Secretary of State's Office
State House Room 204
107 N. Main St.
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Bud.Fitch@sos.nh.gov<mailto:Bud.Fitch@sos.nh.gov>
(603) 271-5335

Subject: New Hampshire Right to Know Law Request: Ransomware Attacks During the 2020 Election Cycle

Secretary of State
RTK Office
71 South Fruit Street
Concord, NH 03301

July 20, 2020

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New Hampshire Right to Know Law, I hereby request the following records:

Guidance, including guidance to state and local elections officials and SOS IT staff, avoiding, detecting or mitigating ransomware attacks on elections systems during the 2020 election cycle, on best practices for state and local elections officials accessing or storing sensitive information, including voter databases, and evaluations about the threat of ransomware disrupting the elections.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Allan Liska

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From: Allan Liska

Hi Orville,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it, good luck with your August training and look forward to your additional response.

Sincerely,
Allan Liska

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