The attack prevented election workers from matching signatures on absentee ballots to scanned signatures from when voters first registered, part of the process of validating ballots as they arrive.
Election workers had to rely on paper files to compare absentee ballot signatures.
Sterling also said the secretary of state’s website had received “pings” to test for weaknesses.
“The other thing you might have seen on the news here and there was the potential targeting of the secretary of state’s site by Russian and/or Iranian hackers,” Sterling said. “These are the things where they try to ping, see if there’s any weaknesses.”
In response, he said the secretary of state’s office moved up timelines for implementing pre-election security measures.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger recently created the bipartisan task force of county election directors, civil rights leaders and nonpartisan groups to communicate about challenges to election administration.
The task force’s meeting wasn’t open to the general public, but reporters from several news organizations were invited to listen, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The task force also discussed voter turnout, power outages during early voting Thursday, an upcoming election audit and absentee ballots.