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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Taking seriously an apparent threat from a notorious collective of computer hackers, the Iowa Republican Party is boosting the security of the electronic systems it will use in two weeks to count the first votes of the 2012 presidential campaign. Investigators don't know if the threat is authentic, but it has nonetheless led the state party to confront a worst-case scenario. Their fear: an Iowa caucus marred by hackers who corrupt the database used to gather votes and crash the website used to inform the public about results that can shape the campaign for the White House. "With the eyes of the media on the state, the last thing we want to do is have a situation where there is trouble with the reporting system," said Wes Enos, a member of the Iowa GOP's central committee and the political director for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign in the state. "We don't want that to be the story." Confident in the existing safeguards protecting the vote count itself, Enos and other members of the party central committee told The Associated Press they recently authorized additional security measures aimed at ensuring hackers are unable to delay the release of caucus results.
"Some people feel that elections can be rigged and votes tampered with. One hacker, who goes by the name of Abhaxas, decided to prove that votes aren't secure by exposing parts of the Florida voting database. Said Abhaxas while posting the data, 'Who believes voting isn't tampered with?'"
"A hacker that goes by the name of Abhaxas exposed parts of the Florida voting database. That apparently didn't sit well with election officials. Reportedly, officials said that authorities were contacted and that their databases are now more secure than ever. In turn, Abhaxas decided to hack the database again and reveal a file directory. Said Abhaxas in the posting, 'Glad you cleaned things up, pretty secure now guys.'"