05042017AM6640 RSSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is fighting to protect the citizens of Illinois from catastrophic cyber threats.

Hastings advanced House Joint Resolution 59 to create the International Cybersecurity Task Force to develop strategies to fight and protect Illinois’ voter information databases from foreign cyberattacks.

“Illinois businesses and residents rely on secure databases and internet services to function in a global world,” Hastings said. “Unsecure online services are detrimental to the well-being of citizens and puts businesses at a disadvantage. It’s our duty to take the proper precautions to fight cyber-attacks that are impeding our basic freedoms.”

Hastings supported this resolution in response to coordinated global cyberattack known as WannaCry, one of the largest cyberattacks ever recorded. The May 2017 attack impacted more than 150 countries, infecting more than 250,000 computers and devices.

There is an increasing concern that the Illinois power grid could be susceptible to widespread outage. This could cause catastrophic damage to the economy of Illinois, and Hastings said the state needs to actively seek ways to add layers of protection. 

“Cyberattacks have continuously become more severe. It’s important for Illinois to upgrade and institute safety precautions to protect key infrastructure,” Hastings said. “As online threats and entities continue to evolve, Illinois needs to be one step ahead to better serve the citizens and businesses of our great state.”

Hastings has continued to advocate and call for stronger cybersecurity protocols at the state and local levels to prevent further attacks on Illinois’ voter registration databases. He plans on taking action to protect Illinois’ cyber services to ensure there aren’t threats to local businesses.

“Our mom and pop businesses are the pillars of our communities. We cannot expect them to have the resources and technology to fight off expert foreign cyber-attacks,” Hastings said.

House Joint Resolution 59 passed the Senate’s State Government Committee with bipartisan support and now moves to the full senate for consideration.

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Untitled 1CHICAGO – Illinois legislators grilled election officials today on the State Board of Elections’ decision to remain a part of a controversial voter registration system. The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck, or Crosscheck for short, compares names of registered voters across states to see if anyone is registered twice.

However, critics argue the unsecure system is designed to suppress minority voters. Communities of color are more likely to have the same last names, which the program flags as a potential double voter. Additionally, the program does not check middle names or suffixes such as Junior or Senior.

The result is that voters with similar names can often be mistaken by the program as double-registered voters, which could have them potentially thrown off the voter rolls.

Security concerns have also been raised as Crosscheck does not use secure networks and passwords to access the database have been sent on unsecure emails.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) says he’s worried the state is leaving the personal information of Illinois voters in danger by remaining in the program.

“Keeping sensitive voter information on an unsecured database is a hacker’s dream,” Hastings said. “The state of Illinois should walk away from the Crosscheck program and use more reliable systems that don’t expose the private information of Illinois residents.”

The state of Illinois is also a member of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) which is considered to be more reliable in determining the accuracy of voter registration.

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CONTACT SENATOR HASTINGS

Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9595

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
20855 South LaGrange Road
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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