The US Division of Homeland Safety notified 21 states on Friday that hackers focused their election programs in 2016. Not one of the programs focused had been concerned in tallying votes, and hackers had been in a position to breach solely a small variety of networks.
“As a part of our ongoing data sharing efforts, right this moment DHS notified the Secretary of State or different chief election officer in every state of any potential concentrating on we had been conscious of of their state main as much as the 2016 election,” Homeland Safety spokesman Scott McConnell mentioned in assertion.
Regardless of the information that vote counting programs appear to have been left unmolested, the notifications are yet another piece of worrying information concerning the integrity of the US election system. The phrase got here as Homeland Safety continues its investigation into safety breaches throughout the 2016 presidential election.
A number of intelligence companies have mentioned that the federal government of Russian President Vladimir Putin was attempting to affect the election by hacking the emails of US political campaigns and thru misinformation efforts.
The DHS information additionally follows Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement Thursday that his social community will hand over to Congress hundreds of election-related advertisements it believes Russian brokers purchased on its platform.
This is not the primary time we have heard that hackers tried to get into state election programs earlier than the 2016 presidential elections, which Donald Trump received amid fears the Russian authorities was attempting to affect vote.
In line with reviews from final September, the US authorities knowledgeable election officers that hackers focused the election programs of greater than 20 states, and efficiently infiltrated these of 4 unnamed states. McConnell did not specify whether or not the hacking makes an attempt reported right this moment had been totally different from those states heard about final 12 months.
Although none of those hacking efforts targeted on vote tallying machines, Barbara Simons, president of election safety advocacy group Verified Voting, mentioned that does not rule out the chance that hackers tampered with the vote.
“In actuality I do not assume we all know for certain whether or not votes had been modified in 2016,” Simons mentioned. Simons’ group is pushing for using paper ballots and guide election audits all through the nation.
Arizona was among the many states notified Friday. “DHS has tell us that the Russian authorities was concerned in assaults on Arizona’s voter registration system in 2016,” a authorities consultant mentioned in an announcement Friday.
The Related Press additionally reported that Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin had been among the many states notified.
McConnell mentioned Homeland Safety is leaving it as much as particular person states to resolve whether or not to inform the general public that their voting programs had been amongst these focused by hackers. “We’ll proceed to maintain this data confidential and defer to every state whether or not it needs to make it public or not.”