A ransomware attack has frozen US election infrastructure at the City Hall in Gainesville, Georgia. The original report from county officials stated that the ransomware attack seized “critical systems within the Hall County Government networks”. The county’s voter signature database and voting precinct map have seen impact, although the voting process is reportedly unaffected.

A spokesperson for cyber security company Check Point Software, Ekram Ahmed, called the Georgia incident “alarming and significant.” “Often, hackers like to run experiments on smaller places and institutions, treating them as testing-grounds for larger-scale attacks down the road,” he said.

“We urge voters to be extra cautious in the days leading up to election night, especially when it comes to their inbox.”

Phishing emails from your polling station?

Experts urge for voters to pay attention to who’s sending them emails, and why. Cyber criminals are quick to invent personas to play, and can easily maraud as a polling official, a precinct representative, or as someone from one of the two major political parties in the US.

Clicking on a phony email can fling you into a hacker trap. A malicious link can cause ransomware to download onto your desktop. Opportunistic threats might be here to stay, but don’t let hackers receive a payday.

For more on election day and ransomware threats, read this Cyber Talk article.