Homeland Security notifies 21 states targeted by Russian election hacking

Some had to rebuff claims of attempts to tamper with "election results".

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement Friday that it was "unacceptable" that DHS officials waited to notify states about the targeting.

While the statement mentioned neither election hacking nor Russian Federation, some media outlets hurried to interpret it in a way matching their own narrative.

The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement said Friday North Carolina wasn't among the 21 states whose election systems were targeted by Russians during last November's election.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday notified 21 states they were targeted for hacking by the Russian government in advance of the 2016 election.

Several mainstream media outlets reported Friday that the us government recently confirmed that Russian government "cyber actors" attempted to hack the 2016 election results or "election systems". Furthermore, the "Russian government cyber actors" quote appears to come from a single source: WEC Administrator Michael Haas.

However, election systems in only a handful of states, including IL, were actually breached. It turned out that the original WEC statement also confirmed that no data in the registration systems was compromised. Voting machines are not connected to the internet and cannot be scanned in this way, but other systems, including those housing voter rolls, can be. It said the attempts to exploit the vulnerabilities were unsuccessful. Gardner said that being targeted means that a hacker might "get in the screen door, but not the main locked door".

"There remains no evidence that the Russians altered one vote or changed one registration", said Judd Choate, president of the U.S. National Association of State Election Directors. The states that told The Associated Press they had been targeted included some key political battlegrounds, such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Homeland Security spokesman Scott McConnell said in a statement the government believes "officials should be kept informed about cybersecurity risks to election infrastructure" but also wants to protect "the integrity of investigations and the confidentiality of system owners".

  • Santos West