Russian operatives compromised election systems in seven states in 2016

An illustration of the Statue of Liberty superimposed over a purple blue and green circuit board

- A report from NBC News said Tuesday that Alaska is one of seven states where federal intelligence suggests that either state websites or voter registration systems were "compromised" by Russian efforts before the 2016 election.

Michael Haas, Wisconsin's top election official, said in a statement that the state had checked its security with DHS and others following NBC News' inquiries and had confirmed "that they are not aware of any other attempts ― successful or unsuccessful ― to breach Wisconsin's systems". According to reports, Obama requested top-secret U.S. officials to probe whether Russian operatives compromised websites or databases ahead of the 2016 election.

In an interview with CNET, Homeland Security's chief cybersecurity official, Jeanette Manfra, said the question of whether hackers truly "breached" any systems was "a matter of endless debate".

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is criticizing a Tuesday NBC news report declaring that Russians penetrated the security of the Alaska Division of Elections and elections computers in six other U.S. states.

"All state and federal officials who spoke to NBC News agree that no votes were changed and no voters were taken off the rolls", that paragraph said.

The Department of Homeland Security says that it is working with states and localities to protect voting systems, but the timeline laid out by NBC News - and the discrepancies between the states and federal government - isn't exactly reassuring as the 2018 midterm election approaches.

He said federal officials maintained in the briefing that communication with state officials is crucial to defending against any election interference.

Only Illinois conceded to NBC that its system was compromised.

"The Department of State was notified by the Department of Homeland Security today that Florida was unsuccessfully targeted by hackers a year ago".

The intelligence community developed "substantial evidence that state websites or voter registration systems" in those states were compromised by "Russian-backed covert operatives". "We believe tonight's story to be factually inaccurate and misleading", he added. She said at the time that the state's election systems were not "compromised". A June 2017 Intercept report based on a leaked National Security Agency classified document (remember Reality Winner?) detailed Russians' gambit to hack a private vendor that supplied voter registration software, and try to obtain information from more than 100 United States local election officials. We have said it before and will say it again: in no case is there any evidence that votes were changed or that Russian actors gained access to systems involved in vote tallying.



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