DHS tells 21 states they were Russia hacking targets before 2016 election

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notified 21 states Friday that Russia attempted to hack their election systems before the 2016 election.

In the majority of the states, the Department of Homeland Security only saw preparations for hacking, like scanning to find potential modes for attack. 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.

DHS has not released a full list of what states were notified.

“[R]ecognizing that state and local officials should be kept informed about cybersecurity risks to election infrastructure, we are working with them to refine our processes for sharing this information while protecting the integrity of investigations and the confidentiality of system owners,” DHS Spokesman Scott McConnell said in a written statement to The Hill.

McConnell later added: “As part of our ongoing information sharing efforts, today DHS notified the Secretary of State or another chief election officer in each state of any potential targeting we were aware of in their state leading up to the 2016 election. We will continue to keep this information confidential and defer to each state whether it wishes to make it public or not.”

The Wisconsin Elections Commission, took the DHS up on that offer, announcing that it was one of the states notified by DHS.

 

 

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