Officers from the Ohio attorney general’s office have issued a subpoena to Douglas County officials investigating the apparent attempted hack of an online database containing personal information of 12,700 people.
Internal emails at the county have suggested the county administration allowed an imposter to use their server to take information from the system which was then passed on to the notorious “Big Lie” conference of activists.
Initial media reports suggested the hacker had accessed the name, Social Security number, date of birth, contact details and phone numbers of 12,725 people. But the Ohio attorney general’s office said it was aware of evidence that the database had in fact contained information of “significantly more individuals”, not 12,700.
Detectives from the office of the state public defender in Cuyahoga county are carrying out an investigation into “possible violations of state and local criminal laws” relating to failure to properly secure the information in the database, the attorney general’s office said.
In a message posted to the local Democratic party’s website last weekend, Doug Westcott, the county sheriff’s department’s executive officer, said it had been unclear whether the information had been accessed in breach of criminal law, and if it had, what might be charged.
A series of emails published in an online forum for the Livingston County Democratic party cast doubt on how the information was hacked. One exchange concerned a personal account from Logan Montgomery, a semi-finalist in a local singing competition. In the message from the forum, Montgomery claimed to have been having technical difficulties accessing the phone number of the song he performed.
A statement from the district attorney’s office for Mahoning county, to which the county belongs, also implied “the potential identity of an individual or parties who may have access to any of the records in question”.
Westcott and state officials declined to comment on the case.