COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has issued a special notice to Ohio's 88 county board of elections with instructions for managing potential threats in response to heightened tensions related to Iran.
Earlier this week, state networks across the country experienced an increase in suspicious cyber activity from IP addresses originating from several countries, including Iran, according to a news release from LaRose's office.
In coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Ohio National Guard and colleagues in West Virginia and Colorado, the release said LaRose required county boards of elections to block an identified set of Iranian IP addresses on county firewalls.
“The bad guys only have to be right once. We have to be right every day,” LaRose said in the release. “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.”
LaRose said there have been no successful intrusions into Ohio's election network.
County boards of elections are in the process of completing a 34-point security directive issued by Larose in June. The directive is widely considered to be the most comprehensive in the country and is being used as a model by other states.
LaRose is also working with the Ohio National Guard to create the first-of-its-kind civilian Cyber-Reserve force that will provide additional support should a cyber attack occur.