Voting systems in 21 states were targeted by hackers, government agency says

Sunday, 24 Sep, 2017

Wisconsin and Washington state officials say Homeland Security reported Russian hackers unsuccessfully tried to access election systems in their states.

Election officials were informed about a year after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) first announced states were targets of hacking efforts possibly connected to Russian Federation.

Insisting that NBC should remove the "false" and "irresponsible" tweet instead of "clarifying" it, Huseman pointed out that voter registration systems are "disconnected" from the election results.

Being a target of hacking attempts doesn't mean sensitive voter data was manipulated or election results were changed. "A hacker targeting a system without getting inside is similar to a burglar circling a house checking for unlocked doors and windows".

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                                                            |By David Shepards
Image Zoom |By David Shepards

Hackers in Arizona didn't compromise the state voter registration system or any county system, but did steal the username and password of a Gila County election official. "We recognize that it is important for senior state election officials to know what happens on their state systems".

According to The AP, Friday's calls from the homeland security agency were the first official confirmation of whether their states were on the list, even though state election officials across the country have been calling for months for the federal government to share information about any hacks, as have members of Congress.

The AP said it contacted every state election office to determine which ones had been informed that their election systems had been targeted. "Finally finding out this information from DHS allows the chief elections officials to move forward on this matter". And Alaska Elections Division Director Josie Bahnke said computers in Russian Federation were scanning the state's election systems searching for vulnerabilities.

New Hampshire was not among 21 states that were targets of Russian hacking prior to the 2016 election, Secretary of State Bill Gardner said Saturday. Russian Federation has denied election meddling, and President Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation. They explained the attempts had "no impact on Wisconsin's systems or the election". He said Russian President Vladimir Putin "vehemently denied" the American intelligence community's conclusion that Russia was behind the massive alleged hacking of political organizations and individuals during the USA presidential race.

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