(KUTV) – The Utah elections office is monitoring data breaches in Illinois and Arizona, but officials say even if a similar breach were to happen Utah, it would likely not pose any threat the integrity of election results.
Arizona and Illinois election officials say the hack likely compromised personal information, such as name, date of birth, address, and possibly more sensitive information from social security numbers or driver information.
But despite breaching election computers, officials say the hackers would not be able to manipulate election results.
"Someone would have to almost physically get access to the machine and put in some type of malware,” Utah Director of Elections Mark Thomas said.
Thomas said the security is the machine itself. Utah voting machines are never connected to the internet, thus leaving them inaccessible to online hackers.
"They don't even have access to the voting machine," Thomas said.
Utah’s machines are also kept under lock and key. They are tested before voting and after to ensure the accuracy of the count , Thomas said. If an attempt were made to manipulate the vote, it would be limited to an individual machine, Thomas added.
“But then that’s only one machine, then you think about the thousands of machines that are across the state that each go through this rigorous pre and post-elections review, so I think it’s pretty difficult,” Thomas said.
Utah state computers are targeted by hackers an average of 2-million times every day – attacks that are monitored 24/7, Thomas said.
Federal officials warned elections office Monday to increase and review their security.