‘Strategic and Coordinated Effort’: County Clerk’s Office Announces Cyber Attack Causing Election Day Issues

The county clerk’s office in Champaign County, Illinois, blamed glitches in its elections computer system on a cyber attack on Tuesday.

“The Champaign County Clerk’s Office is aware of connectivity issues and computer server performance being impacted,” according to an early afternoon post on its Facebook account.

According to WLS-TV, by 1:30 p.m., the issue with the county’s elections computer system had been resolved, according to a representative for the Illinois State Board of Elections.

The Facebook post said the clerk’s office was blaming “cyber-attacks on the network and servers.”

“For the past month the Champaign County Clerk’s website has been the target of repeated D-DOS attacks, fortunately the reinforced security and response from the Clerk’s IT team has prevented these attacks from being successful and the Clerk’s website has remained secured,” the post said.

“No data or information has been compromised and the election is secure,” it continued.

According to the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency’s website, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks take place when a site is overloaded by multiple machines attacking a website at once.

“Although a DDoS attack is unlikely to impact the confidentiality or integrity of a system and associated data, it does affect availability by interfering with the legitimate use of that system,” CISA reported.

The clerk’s office encouraged voters not to abandon their plans to vote.

“These cyber-attacks are a strategic and coordinated effort to undermine and destabilize our democratic process. The intent is to discourage you from voting. Please do not fall victim to this,” the post said.

“The Clerk’s Office is committed to ensuring every eligible voter in Champaign County has access to a fair, free, and accessible election. Please stay in line!” it continued.

“Election judges and staff are doing everything they can to process voters according to the requirements of election law while navigating these attacks.”

A later Champaign County post noted that when the closing time of 7 p.m. arrives, the county will not shut off voting.

“On Election Day, any voters who are in line by 7PM when the polls close, will be processed regardless of how long it takes to move through the line,” the post said.

“The County Clerk’s Office is committed to every voter being able to cast their ballot. All polling locations are universal sites, meaning any eligible voter can vote at ANY polling location for this election.”


Cybersecurity website The Record noted that during a media briefing Tuesday a CISA representative said there was “no specific or credible threat to disrupt the election infrastructure or Election Day operations.”

“We know in this environment, normal technical challenges can sometimes be misinterpreted to mean malicious activity,” the official added. “We have seen no indications to date that this is the case.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.