Ransomware Attacks During the 2020 Election Cycle

Allan Liska filed this request with the secretary of state of Oregon.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Allan Liska


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Oregon Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

Guidance, including guidance to state and local elections officials and Secretary of State 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 10 business days.

Sincerely,

Allan Liska

From: secretary of state

Dear Requestor,

This is to confirm that the Elections Division has received your request. I will review and get back to you about next steps.

Sincerely,
Michelle

Michelle Teed
Deputy Director
Oregon Elections Division
Desk Phone: 503-986-2312
Cell Phone: 503-580-9664
Email: Michelle.teed@oregon.gov<mailto:Michelle.teed@oregon.gov>

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From: secretary of state

Dear Mr. Liska:

This is to acknowledge that the Elections Division has received your public records request. We will review and respond in as timely a manner as possible.

Sincerely,

Michelle Teed
Deputy Director
Oregon Elections Division
Desk Phone: 503-986-2312
Cell Phone: 503-580-9664
Email: Michelle.teed@oregon.gov<mailto:Michelle.teed@oregon.gov>

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From: secretary of state

Good morning,

Thank you for your email. I have conferred with other staff internally, have done some research, and am working on preparing an initial response which I hope to get to you early next week (hoping for Monday). Our Division has been short staffed for the last two months, and there is a significant business demand on the Division at this time. I appreciate your patience and I'll get back to you.

Best regards,

Michelle Teed
Deputy Director
Oregon Elections Division
Desk Phone: 503-986-2312
Cell Phone: 503-580-9664
Email: Michelle.teed@oregon.gov<mailto:Michelle.teed@oregon.gov>

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From: Allan Liska

Ms Teed,

Thank you for your time. I completely understand and look forward to your response.

allan

From: secretary of state

Dear Mr. Liska:

Thank you for your patience while we reviewed your request and conferred internally. As I mentioned, there are a significant number of demands on the agency as we continue preparing for the general election.

The records that the agency has that may be responsive are exempt from disclosure because their disclosure would reveal security measures, and could lead to the unauthorized access to systems, creation of potential vulnerabilities, and the disruption of information processing. Additionally, information related to the security of telecommunications and transmission of data is also exempt. Finally, to the extent our agency may have received information from other security agencies, that was received in confidence and exempt from disclosure; we would refer you to issuing agencies as the custodians of that information.

Sincerely,

Michelle Teed
Deputy Director
Oregon Elections Division
Desk Phone: 503-986-2312
Cell Phone: 503-580-9664
Email: Michelle.teed@oregon.gov<mailto:Michelle.teed@oregon.gov>

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From: Allan Liska

Ms Teed,

Thank you for your response. I very much understand the need for security, and would not want the State of Oregon to disclose anything that could reveal security measures. There is also the need to balance that need for privacy with the public's right to know that states are taking proper steps to secure their systems. Would it help to refine the request a bit: Can you provide me with any internal training that the Oregon Elections Staff has provided to its employees around ransomware threats between January 1 2020 and August 15th 2020?

Hopefully, this will be narrowly focused enough that it won't be too hard to search for and broad enough that it won't reveal specific security measures.

Thank you for your cooperation!

allan

From: secretary of state

Dear Mr. Liska,

The document you requested is a program compiled and distributed by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services. As that agency is the custodian of this material, we refer you to them directly. You can submit the request here:

https://www.oregon.gov/das/Pages/Publicrecords.aspx

Sincerely,

Michelle Teed
Deputy Director
Oregon Elections Division
Desk Phone: 503-986-2312
Cell Phone: 503-580-9664
Email: Michelle.teed@oregon.gov<mailto:Michelle.teed@oregon.gov>

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