Agents Raid Arizona Home in Voter-Data Theft Investigation - Hard Drives Seized
Feds confiscate computers, drives, bag of USB sticks during Maricopa County raid
Federal agents have raided a home in Maricopa County, Arizona as part of an investigation into voter-data theft in the state, according to reports.
It has just emerged that AZ federal officials raided the property in the country's Fountain Hills area on November 5th as part of an election fraud probe.
The agents reportedly seized eight hard drives, three computers, and a bag of USB sticks.
The resident of the property, 56-year-old Elliot Kerwin, was served a warrant by feds during the raid.
According to a report by Forbes, the agents were searching for evidence of a cyberattack on an unnamed organization.
The attack resulted in stolen data from registered voters in Maricopa County, a county that had become a key battleground in the presidential race.
Kerwin is not yet facing charges, according to the warrant recently obtained by Forbes.
There is no indication that anything other than voters’ information, which can be acquired for a few hundred dollars in Arizona counties, was taken from the affected office.
The warrant reveals investigators have been looking into a computer intrusion at an unnamed “victim office,” which occurred from October 21 to November 4.
At the Kerwin residence, they were looking for any evidence within the seized computers that showed they’d been used to access the IT network at the office, as well as “protected voters’ information” and any indication that it had been disseminated to other people.
Of the 15 county recorder’s offices contacted by Forbes about the investigation, only one, Maricopa County, confirmed voter data had been stolen, noting that a federal investigation was underway.
The Maricopa County Recorder’s office, which is just 30 minutes’ drive south from Kerwin’s home, did not confirm whether or not the investigation was the same as that referred to in the search warrant.
The search warrant sought records relating to computer intrusion or conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in the run-up to the presidential election.
According to the warrant, investigators were looking for records, information, and communications related to the offices:
- Login credentials and accounts.
- Voter registration records and information, including protected voters’ information.
- The transfer, sharing, or dissemination of voter registration records and information, including protected voters’ information.
- Unauthorized access to the office’s website and computer systems.
- Attempts or threats to damage computer systems.
Here’s the copy of the Search and Seizure Warrant:
The Maricopa County IT security staff identified the intrusion, according to Megan Gilbertson, spokesperson for the office.
"Analysis by county IT security staff indicates an unauthorized individual gathered publicly accessible voter information from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office website," Gilbertson said in a statement.
"Additional security controls were put in place to mitigate against this activity occurring in the future.
"The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office has reported this to proper authorities and law enforcement personnel, and there is an ongoing investigation by the FBI at this time," Gilbertson said.
"The county is cooperating with the investigation."