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LaRose Takes Action In Response to Iranian Cyber Threats

COLUMBUS – In response to heightened tensions related to Iran, Secretary of State Frank LaRose has issued a special notice to Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections with instructions for managing potential threats.

Earlier this week, state networks across the U.S. experienced an increase in suspicious cyber activity from active internet protocol (IP) addresses originating from several countries, including Iran. In coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Ohio National Guard and colleagues in Colorado and West Virginia, Secretary LaRose required county boards of elections to block an identified set of Iranian IP addresses on county firewalls.

There have been no successful intrusions into Ohio’s elections network, including county boards of elections.

“The bad guys only have to be right once. We have to be right every day,” said LaRose. “Enemies foreign and domestic have made it known that they are going on the offensive, and I want to assure Ohioans that I will be as transparent as I can be to share all available unclassified information with them about what we are doing to protect Ohio’s elections.”

County Boards of Elections are currently completing the final steps of the 34-point security directive issued by Secretary LaRose in June 2019. The directive, widely considered to be the most comprehensive in the United States, is being used as a model by other chief elections officers around the nation. The multi-faceted security strategy within our local boards of elections is necessary to provide the redundancy required of a strong election system infrastructure. You can learn more by clicking here.

Additionally, the Ohio Secretary of State is working with the Ohio National Guard to stand up the first-of-its-kind civilian Cyber-Reserve force that will provide the additional support necessary should an attack occur. You can learn more by clicking here.

Click here to watch Secretary LaRose discuss this important issue.

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Maggie Sheehan
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(614) 466-2729