The DHS said it had received the letter. “We are looking into the matter. DHS takes the trust of our public and private sector partners seriously, and we will respond to Secretary Kemp directly,” the department said in a statement.
The hacking attempt reportedly took place on Nov. 15, after the presidential election, according to the Wall Street Journal, which saw a copy of the letter.
“At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network,” Kemp wrote in his letter. “Moreover, your department has not contacted my office since this unsuccessful incident to alert us of any security event that would require testing or scanning of our network.”
Kemp is also asking if the department has scanned any other states in the same way.
The hacking of local election systems in the U.S. was a major concern during this year’s presidential campaign. U.S. government agencies, including the DHS, had found evidence that hackers were probing state voter registration systems in the months preceding Election Day.