- After results from the Iowa caucus were delayed Monday evening, the Iowa Democratic Party said the wait was caused by inconsistencies in the reported results.
- The chaos centres around a vote-relaying app made by a company called Shadow that was supposed to help get results in faster.
- The use of an app raised concerns about security and potential hacking, but the Iowa Democratic Party said on Tuesday that it has “every indication that our systems were secure and there was not a cyber security intrusion.”
- On Tuesday morning, it said in a second statement that the errors were due to a “coding issue” that caused the app to report “partial” data.
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After major delays in reporting the results from the much-awaited Iowa caucuses, the Iowa Democratic Party said that the app at the centre of the chaos, which raised cyber security concerns, was not hacked.
“We have every indication that our systems were secure and there was not a cyber security intrusion,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price said in a statement to Cedar Rapids, Iowa ABC-affiliate KCRG.
The app was installed to phones used by the people reporting caucus results from precincts around Iowa, and cybersecurity experts warned that putting the app on personal phones could open the caucus data to hacking. Douglas Jones, an election security expert, told the The Wall Street Journal that the app was a “security nightmare.”
Price said that after initial results came in Monday night, “it became clear that there were inconsistencies with the reports. The underlying cause of these inconsistencies was not immediately clear, and required investigation, which took time.”
While the data being reported by the app was “only partial,” Price said, the raw data collected was correct.
After ruling out a cyber security intrusion, Price said the party found the delay was caused by a “coding issue” in the reporting system.
“This issue was identified and fixed,” Price said. “The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately.”
While the accuracy of the data was not corrupted, Price said, the issues with the app forced precincts to have to enter data manually, which caused further delays.
Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland security, told Fox News on Tuesday that the department had offered to vet the app for security risks, but that Iowa Democrats declined. Wolf said that there have not been signs that the app was hacked.
“Right now we don’t see any malicous cyber activity going on,” Wolf said. “No one hacked into it. So this is more of a stress or a load issue, as well as a reporting issue that we’re seeing in Iowa.”
Price said in his statement that the app was instead tested by “independent cybersecurity consultants.”
HuffPost reported that the app at the centre of the chaos is made by a company called Shadow, and that the app is funded by a Democratic organisation called ACRONYM.
ACRONYM said in a statement that it did not directly provide technology to the party but confirmed that it funded Shadow.
According to Shadow’s website, its founders include former staffers from the Clinton and Obama presidential campaigns, as well as former Google, Apple and Democratic National Committee staffers.
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