Russia's election hacking reached 39 U.S. states, says report

  • Russia's election hacking reached 39 U.S. states, says report

Russia's election hacking reached 39 U.S. states, says report

Although the government publicly denied Russia targeted or compromised systems involved in vote tallying, people with direct knowledge of the USA investigation into the matter told Bloomberg that Russian hackers most certainly sought out voter databases and software systems in several states.

In the summer and fall of 2016, the hackers accessed state voting systems and tried to delete or alter voter information, investigators found.

Bloomberg reports that incursions into voter databases and software systems were nearly double the size previously revealed.

Obama even warned Putin that he risked setting off a "broader conflict", however, as the Russian State denies it ever happened, despite being given documentary evidence, the U.S. continues to be backed into a corner.

Last week, government contractor Reality Winner was arrested for allegedly leaking classified NSA documents to the Intercept about Russian hackers' cyberattack on a USA voting software supplier just days before the election. However, the private details of between 700 and 86,000, voters-including names, addresses and the last four digits of social security numbers-have been compromised.

In a December press conference, President Obama said "we did not see further tampering of the election process" after he personally told Russian President Vladimir Putin to "cut it out" when saw him in early September.

After being alerted, Russian Federation leadership reportedly requested more information and said they would investigate the matter, but the attacks continued. Also, he says the shortage of cybersecurity professionals at the state level hinders the defense of election systems. In a different, unidentified USA state, the Russians were able to get information from a campaign finance database, which would give them insight into the financial connections between certain voters and candidates. "Though it is a place to start but I fear that this is the dominant practice among most users of information technology, state governments included", he says. One that, as the report notes, ultimately indicated a "hacking pandemic that touched four out of every five US states".

USA intelligence officials have cautioned that Russian interference continues, and that the 2018 and 2020 elections could very well be compromised by their efforts. In many states, the extent of the Russian infiltration remains unclear.

Thirty-seven other states reported finding traces of hacker intrusions, including the critical election systems of both Florida and California.

According to leaked US National Security Agency (NSA) documents, hackers "working for Russian Military Intelligence" were also attacking the computers of some 122 officials ahead of the race.

Experts said the Russians may not have gained enough access to make a real difference.