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Hackers have potential to gain personal information from voter registration websites

Posted at 6:45 PM, Aug 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 21:45:04-04

A problem this year during election season is hackers gaining your personal information. 

This is one of the first elections having some difficulties because everything is electronic. 

The FBI sent out an alertstating hackers broke into two state voter registration websites, Arizona being one of them. 

A management information systems professor at University of Arizona said that this type of hack is called SQL injection. 

"Depending on how a website was programmed, sometimes instead of putting a name in you can put in an entire code a sequel of commands in and it will be passed through to a database which will override the original search and execute the commands that were put in," said Mark Patton. 

Hackers can command a website to display a voter's personal information by just putting codes into the website. 

Patton explained that hackers have different motivations for gaining a person's personal information. 

"After I did some research, my understanding is these were probably criminal hackers," he said. "Their motivation would be money."

He said when a hacker obtains personal information from a lot of people, they can sell it -- which is identity theft. 

Patton says that although everyone wants everything to be perfectly secure, that is impossible. Even though security is getting stronger, he says that hackers are working to find ways around it. 

Pima County Recorder's Voter site was not part of the FBI investigation. However, it did do its own internal investigation and no data was tampered.