The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was warned by experts that voting machines were vulnerable to hackers and manipulation, a cybersecurity specialist said Monday.
Retired Col. Phil Waldron told a public hearing on election issues in Arizona that his team brought the information to DHS workers, including employees in the department’s cybersecurity office, known as CISA.
“When I started working on this project in August, I called them up and said, you guys have got to come out and look at it. They did. They spent an initial three hours going through this data. At the end of that, one of them said, ‘I think I need to go outside and throw up,'” said Waldron, who informed the hearing of issues his team uncovered with Dominion Voting Systems machines.
DHS employees followed up multiple times, traveling to Dallas to obtain over 600 gigabytes of data from another team working with Waldron. Waldron’s team gave them another over 200 gigabytes and they analyzed that.
“After they analyzed, there was a scan, a passive scan done. They conducted a limited scan and determined that there were vulnerabilities. They held numerous meetings,” Waldron said.
Asked why nothing seemed to be done before the election to fix the vulnerabilities, Waldron said he believed it was either incompetence or a lack of commitment to doing something, at the senior leader level.
“Members of the elections division of CISA, I was told would never attend the meetings or the briefings that were conducted internal to the DHS on the material that we had presented,” he added.
CISA didn’t respond to a request for comment.
CISA, a little over a week after the election, called it “the most secure in American history,” alleging, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
The statement was issued jointly by the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, which CISA is part of, and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council. Dominion is a member of the latter, which CISA did not disclose in its statement.
Days later, President Donald Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the director of CISA.
Trump said the statement was “highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud.”
Krebs responded by saying he did not claim there wasn’t fraud in the election. He later told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that “there was no manipulation of the vote on the machine count side.”
Krebs said there was a command center where members of the FBI, the National Security Agency, and other agencies, along with representatives from some of the election system companies, gathered to monitor the election.
“It was quiet. And there was no indication or evidence that there was any sort of hacking or compromise of election systems on, before or after November 3rd,” he said.
Trump took to Twitter to say 60 Minutes never reached out to the White House for comment, calling its story “one sided.”
“Our 2020 Election, from poorly rated Dominion to a Country FLOODED with unaccounted for Mail-In ballots, was probably our least secure EVER!” he wrote.