Knox County election hit by cyber attack
Update 9:30 p.m.
The computers are back up and running at the Knox County Election Office after a cyber attack delayed but did not change election results.
Dick Moran, head of IT for Knox County, called it a widespread denial of service attack, which means multiple compromised computer systems attack a target, such as a server, website or other network resource. That causes a denial of service for legitimate users of the system. The flood of incoming messages and connection requests forces the computer to slow down or even crash.
It's not known yet who is behind the attack, but someone did it on purpose.
"It was a deliberate attack. No question," said Moran.
The attack likely came from both inside and outside the country. Moran said there's no way to prepare for something like this.
The computers were done for about an hour and a half, but there's no guarantee that the attack won't start again.
The election results are not impacted by the attack in any way.
A county spokesperson told 10News that they will meet with law enforcement, the D.A's office, and IT security contractors as soon as possible.
Update: 8:45 p.m.
The polls are closed in Knox County, but results are delayed because of a cyber attack on the election commission computers.
Officials at the election commission call it is a widespread denial of service attack, meaning the servers are being overloaded with requests, both legitimate and not legitimate. It can't handle them all, and can't function properly.
Computer experts are working to fix the problem.
Officials can still access the election results and print them out, but people can't access them on the election commission website or app. An election official said they are doing the results "old school."
They are printing out the results for us and you can find them here as we get them.
One of the most competitive primary seasons in years comes to an end Tuesday in Knox County.
Voters are picking GOP and Democratic candidates for mayor, county clerk, Circuit Court clerk and some Knox County Commission seats, among others.
They'll also choose the next Knox County sheriff, in all likelihood, because only two Republicans are seeking the office. No Democrat sought the job.
Early voting was fairly strong, but still not as lively as you'll see during a presidential election year.
According to the Knox County Election Commission, 27,377 people cast early or absentee ballots. Early voting ended Thursday, April 26.
Of that vote, some 23,000 people took part in the Republican primary and a little less than 4,100 in the Democratic primary.
Another 25,000 to 30,000 people may go to the polls Tuesday. Polls are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Some 240,000 people are registered and active voters in Knox County, so turnout of 55,000 would represent about 23 percent of all registered voters.
The weather will be great. School will be out.
"There is no excuse not to vote on Tuesday," said Cliff Rodgers, elections administrator.
The general election is in August, and the winners take office in September.
Assuming no technical glitches arise, look for the first batch of results -- from early voting -- to be released about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.